Thursday, October 7, 2004

Miami U. rape suspect indicted

By Janice Morse
Enquirer staff writer

HAMILTON - A 25-year-old man has been indicted on 10 charges, including the alleged rape of a Miami University student who tried to help him with his studies.

In a Butler County indictment released Wednesday, Jason Landis, 25, of Troy, is accused of raping a 22-year-old woman at his apartment Sept. 28. That charge is a first-degree felony for which he could be sent to prison for 10 years if convicted. His lawyer, Jon Paul Rion, did not return a reporter's phone call Wednesday.

Landis, who will be arraigned Friday in Common Pleas Court, also faces eight drug-related charges - three of them felonies - for possession of anabolic steroids, syringes and Viagra. Steroids are synthetic hormones that can help increase muscle size, but also can increase aggression and carry health risks. Viagra is a sexual performance-enhancing drug that requires a prescription; Assistant Prosecutor Craig Hedric said Landis did not have a prescription for it.

A 10th charge accuses Landis of receiving stolen property: the driver's license of a woman who told police her purse was stolen at Newcom's Tavern in Dayton, Ohio. Hedric said Landis worked at the bar as a bouncer, helping the bar maintain order by getting rid of unruly patrons.

Hedric said Landis, who was convicted of a sex crime on campus in 2003, was released from court-imposed electronic monitoring Sept. 11 - the same day the Dayton bar patron said her purse was stolen. The electronic monitoring program required Landis to wear an ankle bracelet that helped authorities keep track of his whereabouts - and court orders required him to be at home at certain times.

Landis' size - 6 feet 2, 220 pounds - would have helped him easily overpower the 22-year-old woman who reported being attacked in Oxford last week, Hedric said.

"By looking at her, she's no match physically for this man," Hedric said. "There's no way she would have been able to fight him off."

Hedric said he did not know whether Landis was under the influence of any of the drugs at the time of the alleged attack.

The attack, Hedric said, was so brutal that the victim underwent two hours of surgery to repair injuries from the rape, but there was no sign she had been beaten.

The woman had gone to Landis' apartment to study, authorities say.

Police said they confiscated a sheet, clothing, pills, Landis' computer, a cell phone, computer discs, a camera, an address book, a notebook with photos, syringes, his student ID card and the Dayton woman's driver's license.

Landis was convicted last year of two charges - misdemeanor sexual imposition and aggravated trespass - in an attack on a woman in her dorm room. That woman was not injured. She said she awoke to find Landis in her bed, fondling her. He stopped when she screamed at him, she said.

Landis served about a month in jail before he was released on the electronic monitoring program.

Miami University officials have admitted they failed to provide the 2003 victim with a required written notice, telling her that he would be allowed to re-enroll at the school in August 2004. The woman says university officials had told her that he would be barred until 2005.

Richard Little, university spokesman, on Wednesday said Miami has notified the U.S. Department of Education about the mistake, which would constitute violation of federal campus-crime reporting law. Violations can result in penalties including fines and suspension from federal financial aid programs. Little said Miami officials were in the process of writing an apology to the previous victim.



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