A Carter County jury deliberated almost 4 hours Wednesday before returning a guilty verdict against a 55-year-old Ardmore man charged with first-degree rape.
The guilty verdict ended the two-day trial of Danny Ray Reisman, accused of the December 2011, rape of a woman with severe mental disabilities. Jurors recommended Reisman serve a 25-year prison sentence. Formal sentencing is set before District Judge Dennis Morris March 6.
Reisman took the stand in his own defense Tuesday afternoon claiming the sexual assault on the victim, who is unable to speak, was consensual. District Attorney Craig Ladd, who prosecuted the case, said Reisman described the assault as "just sex." (The charge accused the local man of raping the woman "without legal consent.")
Following the verdict Ladd said the case was a prime example of the reason Oklahoma legislators enacted a specific law regarding the protection of those with mental disabilities.
"This is what the legislators were talking about — people like her, the most vulnerable and susceptible to abuse," the district attorney said.
Ladd praised the jury for, "speaking out for the victim who cannot speak for herself."
He said, "We certainly appreciate the efforts of the jury. This was a tough case and they were very attentive."
Describing the circumstances surrounding the rape as "tragic," Ladd called the case "a shinning example" of the professionalism of the agencies involved including Ardmore Police Department patrol officers, investigators and crime scene analysts, C/SARA, and OSBI criminalists.
"They all did their jobs well. They worked well together. They followed protocol and the result was the recovery of necessary forensic evidence. The result of that effort was the conviction," he said.
Reisman, who had been free on a $20,000 bond since his initial court appearance on Jan. 26, 2012, was remanded to the custody of the sheriff following the verdict. He will remain incarcerated at the Carter County Detention Center pending formal sentencing and his transfer to a state prison.