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Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Celina man sent to prison for raping estranged wife

By Margie Wuebker
A Celina man has been sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of raping his estranged wife in the apartment they once shared.
Scott A. Yenser, 30, 1200 Kensington Lane, showed little emotion as visiting Judge John Schmitt imposed five years on the rape charge and a concurrent six-month sentence for domestic violence. He received credit for four months served in the Mercer County Jail following his arrest. Gasps echoed through the quiet room and several supporters wiped tears as the sentence was announced.
Schmitt also classified Yenser as a sexually oriented offender noting that could change when a new classification system goes into effect Jan. 1.
Yenser laughed and talked with relatives in the filled courtroom prior to the proceeding. However, his demeanor changed dramatically when he had an opportunity to address the court.
"I sat in the Mercer County Jail for four months experiencing feelings of hatred, anger and confusion," he said invoice choked with emotion. "I accept any judgment you give but ask for leniency."
He tearfully apologized to four special people - his children - for not being a better father and role model, adding they would always be in his heart. He added his intent was to be a loving father, son and friend.
Schmitt refused to allow Yenser's mother and cousin to speak on his behalf, adding he had presided at the trial and knew the circumstances of what had transpired.
Defense attorney James Tesno likened those circumstances to the "Perfect Storm," adding his client's reasoning powers were impaired at the time and there was little if any chance of recidivism.
"Scott wants to get counseling," Tesno added. "He had led a law-abiding life for a significant number of years. He has put away the toys of childhood and accepted the responsibilities of adulthood. I ask that you consider the man before you ... non-residential sanctions would effectively punish him and protect society."
Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Fox had hoped Yenser would take accountability for his actions, noting comments made in the presentence investigation spoke of innocence and not remorse.
"What he did to June Yenser was humiliating and degrading," he added. "He has convinced himself he is the victim, his parents are the victim and his children are the victim. It's easier to blame somebody else and easier to tear someone down."
Four uniformed officers were present in the courtroom to prevent any unwanted displays and tight security was evident prior to the proceeding as those arriving were searched with a security wand before entering the courtroom.
The rape occurred April 23 when June Yenser returned to the apartment the couple once shared to discuss marital issues prior to a scheduled attorney appointment. The discussion, which began in the living room and eventually moved to the bedroom so their children playing outside would not hear, deteriorated and became violent when he accused her of being involved with another man.
The defendant reportedly ingested a large number of over-the-counter painkillers in an apparent suicide attempt despite her efforts to grab the bottles. During the ensuing argument, he threw her on the bed and raped her.
Schmitt presided at the trial in the absence of Judge Jeffrey Ingraham, who honored a prior commitment as visiting judge in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. The jury deliberated nearly four hours before returning guilty verdicts last month.
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