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Court Upholds Ex-Student's Rape Conviction

Last updated on Thursday, June 21, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a former Vincennes University student’s conviction for raping another student who later committed suicide.

The court said Wednesday that a judge hadn't erred by allowing jurors to be told that the victim wasn't available to testify against Jason Michael Palilonis because she is dead. The panel said that was the fairest way to explain her absence.

The court also rejected Palilonis' claim that the trial court improperly admitted statements the victim made to a nurse after the 2005 assault. It also found the trial judge acted properly by holding evidentiary hearings before denying Palilonis' motion to set aside the guilty verdict, because one of the jurors allegedly told others the judge believed he was guilty.

Palilonis was sentenced to seven years in prison.

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