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Defense moves to dismiss Dunn Center rape case

Press Photo by Katherine Lymn Dunn Center resident Jeffery Thibault listens to lawyers during a status conference Tuesday at Stark County Courthouse concerning his rape case.

A public defender Tuesday filed a motion to dismiss rape charges against a Dunn Center man, saying in a hearing that the alleged victim’s unrelated health woes have dragged the case on for too long.

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Dunn County State’s Attorney Pat Merriman asked Southwest Judicial District Judge Dann Greenwood for an extension to allow more time for the woman, who has cancer, to give depositions for the case against Jeffery Thibault.

Thibault faces rape, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment felony charges stemming from a November incident in Dunn Center. Investigators said he so violently raped the woman that she had hemorrhaging and lost liters of blood. Public defender Kevin McCabe said at the February preliminary hearing that the sex was rough, but consensual. Thibault also allegedly left the woman without medical treatment.

Merriman has two weeks to file a response to McCabe’s motion to dismiss.

Merriman said after the hearing that there’s nothing he can do to speed up proceedings with the serious battle the woman faces against cancer.

“If a dying victim isn’t just cause (to delay), then I’m not sure what is,” he said.