Judge delays trial of ex-Troy firefighter accused of rape

Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 @ 1:46 PM

The Miami County Courthouse in Troy. TY GREENLEES/STAFF
The Miami County Courthouse in Troy. TY GREENLEES/STAFF

A Miami County judge Tuesday continued the trial of a former Troy firefighter indicted along with another Troy man on allegations of felony rape, and the judge said he’d later rule about separate trials for the men.

Former firefighter Jeff Covault, 48, pleaded not guilty to rape for alleged sexual conduct with a 21-old-woman March 2 in the parking lot of The Vault on North County Road 25A, Troy. Co-defendant Thomas Perkins Jr., 54, of Troy, also pleaded not guilty in Miami County Common Pleas Court during arraignments June 22.

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The indictment alleges the woman was impaired because of a mental or physical condition and the alleged perpetrators knew of that impairment.

Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Gee met privately with lawyers for Covault and Perkins along with assistant prosecutor Janna Parker on Tuesday before holding a brief hearing.

He granted the motion by Andrew Pratt, Covault’s lawyer, to continue the trial from Sept. 18 to Dec. 11 in part based on delivery Tuesday to the defense lawyers of a video from a security camera at the business. Gee asked why the video had not been provided sooner to Pratt and Anthony Sullivan, Perkins’ lawyer. Parker said there were technical difficulties in copying the camera’s content.

MORE: Ex-Troy firefighter wants own trial in rape case

Pratt requested a separate trial for Covault arguing evidence available should be presented to separate juries to make sure a jury does not consider evidence against one defendant as evidence against both. Sullivan has not filed a motion for Perkins but said he, too, would be concerned about what was called the “spillover doctrine” with the evidence.

Parker said a joint trial would be appropriate because of allegations that the men “participated in the same course of criminal conduct.”

Covault posted bail of $200,000 following his arraignment in June. Perkins remains jailed in lieu of bail.

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