GLOUSTER, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man charged with raping young girls is asking for separate trials.
Thomas Shifflet of Glouster in southeastern Ohio is charged with rape and related counts in Athens County Common Pleas Court.
The Athens Messenger reports (http://bit.ly/ThiSqs) that the 75-year-old is accused of having sexual contact with five girls between the ages of 3 and 12.
His attorney, John Lavelle, is asking that the charges be split up into separate trials, claiming that "highly prejudicial" evidence in some cases would be inadmissible in trials of the others.
He says the alleged victims have nothing to do with each other and that "each case on its own is so very weak."
Prosecutors say each case involves similar acts and occurred relatively close in time to one another.
Information from: The Athens Messenger, http://www.athensmessenger.com/