Garret Callahan never said he raped a Winchester woman four years ago, but now says he thinks a jury would convict him again if his case went back to trial.
This morning he pleaded guilty in Clark Circuit Court to a single count of first-degree rape and was sentenced to 13 years. The sodomy charge was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
In 2009, Callahan was tried and convicted of first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy and was sentenced to 30 years. The Kentucky Supreme Court overturned the conviction in April and ordered a new trial citing an error by the trial judge.
“(Pleading guilty) makes the most sense to me,” Callahan told Clark Circuit Judge Jean Chenault Logue this morning.
Callahan said he was intoxicated at the time of the incident in 2008.
“I admit I was wrong and my judgment wasn’t clear at the time of the incident,” he said.
The victim testified she was carrying groceries into her apartment when Callahan, who lived next door, offered to help, which she refused.
When she turned him down a second time, she told police he grabbed one of the bags, carried it into her apartment and refused to let her leave. He then forcibly raped and sodomized her she said, leaving bruises in the process. He eventually left her apartment and she called for help.
Callahan said today he had no indications that she felt forced into intercourse with him.
“I did use her for sex,” he said. “Did I think it was forcible? No. That may have been her interpretation. She didn’t give me any indications that it was forcible.”
The Supreme Court unanimously overturned the verdict and sentence after ruling that the trial judge should not have allowed a second alleged victim of Callahan’s to testify at trial.
The justices said her testimony showed some similarities to the 2008 incident, but not enough to establish a firm pattern of Callahan’s behavior. Her testimony unfairly prejudiced the jury, they wrote.
Prosecutors said Callahan will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible to meet the parole board. He has been incarcerated since his May 2008 arrest.
Contact Fred Petke at firstname.lastname@example.org.