Columbus Lawyer Found Guilty On Half Of Charges In Sexual Assault Cases

Columbus Lawyer Found Guilty On Half Of Charges In Sexual Assault Cases
Columbus Lawyer Found Guilty On Half Of Charges In Sexual Assault Cases

After a jury returned a mixed verdict for a central Ohio attorney charged with rape, two of his accusers talk only to 10TV.

It was an extraordinary trial from start to finish, including testimony from five accusers, a Franklin County judge, and defendant Javier Armengau himself.

Armengau was charged with 18 counts.  Jurors found him guilty of nine of them, including rape, kidnapping and sexual battery.

They found him not guilty of nine other counts, including those same charges.

Javier Armengau showed little reaction as the long list of verdicts was read, shaking his head at one guilty charge, and appearing to wipe tears from his eyes as the bailiff continued.

After the judge ordered his bond revoked, Armengau was taken into custody, his stone-faced attorneys left to offer their reactions.

"Heartbroken for Javier and for his family,” said defense attorney Jennifer Coriell. “This is not what we expected."

"Obviously, our hopes were for an acquittal,” said her co-counsel, Frederick Benton. “I thought that it would be either an acquittal or perhaps a hung jury."

From Armengau's accusers Monday, a very different reaction:

"I said, ‘Oh my God!’ And the biggest smile came across my face,” said Lisa Griffey.  She is choosing to go public for the first time since accusing Armengau of raping her.

She said she no longer feels the need to hide in the shadows of anonymity.  "Finally he's getting his day now. And I told him he would. When he did that to me, I told him, ‘You'll get your day. Your day is coming.’”

Griffey is the woman who says Armengau raped her inside the Franklin County Courthouse, and that he encouraged her to have sex with Judge Richard Frye in exchange for a favorable sentence for her son.

On the witness stand two weeks ago, Frye angrily denied any involvement.  "She's crazy!" was the reaction he recalled giving to investigators.

Jurors also seemed to question her story, returning “not guilty” verdicts on the two counts pertaining to her.

Griffey said she had no reason to lie.  “I don't care if they believe me or not. I know the truth. I know what happened."

10TV also reached Catherine Collins, the woman who wore a hidden microphone the night Armengau was arrested.  Her story and motives were also challenged by the defense.  She says Monday's verdict is vindication

"It's never been about money,” Collins said.  “It's been about him doing wrong. And like I said about a year ago, it doesn't matter if he's a police office or a judge or a homeless person. I'm going to seek the same justice regardless."

Lisa Griffey is also the accuser who filed a police report accusing Armengau of sexual assault in 2009, four years before his arrest last April.  A Columbus Police officer testified she was not responsive when he tried to investigate her claim.

Armengau will be sentenced August 12th.  He faces up to 41 years in prison.  His attorneys say they plan to appeal.