This article was originally published on GoErie.com by Tim Hahn on February 7, 2018
An Erie man accused of raping and sexually assaulting a female with intellectual disabilities at an eastside residence was ordered on Wednesday to face trial on all charges in the case.
John W. Wright Sr., 42, was held for court on charges including rape of a mentally disabled person, sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault following his preliminary hearing before Erie 2nd Ward District Judge Paul Urbaniak on Wednesday morning.
Urbaniak denied a request by Wright’s lawyer, Erie County Assistant Public Defender Stephen Lagner, to reduce the $200,000 bond holding Wright in the Erie County Prison.
Erie police accuse Wright of assaulting the victim, who is now 19, over a period of time dating back to mid-2015, according to information in the criminal complaint.
Erie police Detective Michael Hertel testified under questioning by Erie County Assistant District Attorney Erin Connelly that his investigation began on Jan. 2 when he was assigned a rape report. The victim said during a police interview on Jan. 4 that she was raped by Wright on New Year’s Eve and on the evening of Jan. 1, and that she told him to stop but he did not. Hertel said the victim also talked about an assault involving Wright that happened in December 2016 or January 2017; and about an earlier assault.
He said the girl went to the hospital after the rape was initially reported and underwent a forensic examination, but the results of the exam were not back yet.
Hertel also testified Wednesday that he interviewed Wright about a week after interviewing the victim. Wright at first denied any kind of involvement with the victim, but he later admitted to having some sexual contact with her, Hertel said.