Trial starts for man accused of rape; DNA test not a match

Trial starts for man accused of rape; DNA test not a match
Photo the woman took the night of the alleged rape. (Source: WTOL)
Photo the woman took the night of the alleged rape. (Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A Toledo man is standing trial after police say he got into a woman's car, forced her to drive away and then raped her. She even took a picture of the man to prove it.

But the suspect's family says that's not what happened, and they have scientific proof.

After police arrested and charged Jeffery Shoecraft with rape and kidnapping, he had to submit a DNA test. His DNA neither included or excluded him as a suspect because the lab did not have a good sample to work with.

Shoecraft has been at the Lucas County Jail since February.

The victim claims Shoecraft got in her car at Barnes and Noble on Monroe, forced her to drive him to a liquor store on Franklin and Bancroft and then raped her. She was able to snap a picture of Shoecraft on her cell phone; that picture led to his arrest.

But Shoecraft's family says the victim simply gave him a ride home, and the DNA test proves that.

'It is nerve wrecking to know your fate is in the hands of 12 men and women," said Virginia Werent, Shoecraft family friend. "Hopefully, they will see the evidence is not there."

Shoecraft was offered a plea deal by the state for lesser charges which would have given him a maximum of eight years in prison. But he's maintaining his innocence and turned the deal down.

The lead detective in this case was unable to comment further on the DNA test since the trial is underway.

Jury selection began Monday morning, and the first witness was expected to be called the same day. Officials anticipate the trial to wrap up Tuesday.

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