The case against a former Muskingum Township man accused of raping a family member is headed to a grand jury.
Larry G. Blair, 52, last known address 705 Third Ave., South Myrtle, S.C., was bound over to Washington County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday after Marietta Municipal Court Judge Janet Dyar-Welch ruled there was probable cause to go forward.
The crime occurred shortly after midnight on Feb. 11 at Blair's home, according to testimony from the 38-year-old female relative accusing Blair. The Marietta Times generally does not identify victims of sexual assault.
EVAN BEVINS The Marietta Times
Rape suspect Larry Blair, seated left, listens to testimony during a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Marietta Municipal Court with his attorney, Assistant Washington County Public Defender Shawna Landaker.
During an hour-long preliminary hearing Wednesday, the woman spoke in a soft voice, constantly fighting back tears. She said she, Blair and two friends had been drinking at The Four Seasons and The Locker Room in downtown Marietta the evening of Feb. 10. After leaving the bars around midnight, the victim drove Blair in his vehicle to his home at 565 Fleming Road south of Lowell.
"He said other friends were coming there to finish out partying," the victim stated.
However, no friends came to Blair's house that night. Daniel Blair, the defendant's brother, was the only other person present in the home.
The victim conversed with both men and found nothing to be out of the ordinary until the defendant told his brother to go to bed and refused to let the woman make a phone call to request a ride home.
When alone, Blair allegedly grabbed the victim by the hair and forcefully removed her clothing before committing the rape.
The victim said she screamed for help, but the suspect's brother did not respond. Washington County Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Mankins testified that the other man was asleep upstairs and uses a breathing machine.
Afterward, the victim said she took the keys to Blair's vehicle and drove herself to a friend's home in Marietta and eventually reported the crime.
Later that day, Mankins and another deputy interviewed the defendant at his residence.
"He denied having any type of sex with her," Mankins said.
However, DNA tests performed on evidence collected when the victim went to Marietta Memorial Hospital matched Blair's DNA, Mankins said.
Blair was not arrested until after those results were obtained. At that point, he was living in South Carolina, where he was arrested. He waived extradition, with Mankins bringing him back to Washington County on July 29.
Blair remains in custody at the Washington County Jail on a $100,000 bond. His attorney, Assistant Washington County Public Defender Shawna Landaker requested a reduction, suggesting he was not a flight risk since he has ties with the community and did not fight extradition.
During the hearing, Welch and Assistant Washington County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Rings referred to prior convictions of Blair in multiple jurisdictions including theft of government property and arson.