On December 24, 2008, I was assaulted (attempted rape) on the main street of Wooster, Ohio, by a young man who was two months shy of his 18th birthday. He had just been released from the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) 10 days prior after a 4-year stay, and had been in the court system since he was nine years old. I was able to fight him off and immediately contacted the police department.
After his arrest, I talked with the juvenile court judge, asking that Joseph Mosley be tried as an adult given his history. The response I received made me angry: “Well, if I do that, there’s no hope of rehab.” My response: “Do you really think that there’s ANY hope of rehab after he spent four years in DYS and assaulted me ten days after his release?” Judge Leisy reconsidered and tried him as an adult.
While a trial was being prepared, Mosley was in the Wayne County (Ohio) jail and was writing me letters, which were given to the public defender. A few days before the scheduled start of the trial, Mosley changed his plea to guilty and a sentencing hearing took place almost a year after the assault. Judge Wiest sentenced Mosley to four years in prison.
Following the sentencing hearing, Andy Hyde (public defender) attempted to give me the bundle of letters Mosley had written me from jail and I refused them. I was furious that he had given my name and address to Mosley and was told that there was no law against him doing so. (There is now.)
Four years later, he was released, wearing a monitoring device programmed with my address so that he would be detained if he came near me. The day after Mosley’s release he attempted to rape someone else. That trial ended in his acquittal since the witnesses weren’t found to be credible. I’m not clear the sequence of events leading up to another conviction and incarceration, but he was given a six-year sentence.
Prior to his release in late May 2017, I received a letter from the Ohio Department of Corrections, notifying me of Mosley’s pending release and giving me the name of his parole officer. It took a number of attempts to reach Jason Marks, who was very condescending, telling me that Mosley had been reformed in prison, was no longer a danger, that “he doesn’t even remember your name,” and, that he would be living in Orrville, Ohio, rather than Wooster. I learned that Mosley would have no community controls. I expressed concern about about Mosley attacking others.
Just before Christmas in 2017, the headline in the Wooster Daily Record announced that a suspect was in custody for the rape of two girls, ages 11 and 12. Learning that Joseph Mosley was the suspect, I contacted parole officer Jason Marks’s supervisor to let her know how Marks had belittled my concerns. I met with the Wayne County Prosecutor and head of victim assistance to discuss my case, how the parole officer talked to me, and what I could do to keep Mosley off the streets.
Mosley was charged with four counts of rape (oral and anal rape of each girl), two counts of robbery, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of resisting arrest. The trial started in late November 2018 and lasted six days.
The hardest part of the trial for me was when the two young girls were called to the stand to testify, with each being on the stand for three hours. The defense attorney was brutal with all of those who testified, especially the two young girls. The jury deliberated less than two hours and returned a unanimous guilty verdict on all nine counts. At the sentencing hearing a week later, Judge Wiest imposed a sentence of a minimum of 100 years and a maximum of life.
All of the current news about anti-abortion legislation in many states (including Ohio) has caused me to think about my assault and that of the two young girls in another light. What if Mosley had raped the two girls vaginally and one or both had become pregnant? How would family members and friends who attended the trial with me—and who are adamantly anti-abortion under any circumstance—feel if this animal had raped a daughter or granddaughter?
We MUST keep fighting to maintain a woman’s right to choose.