Edinburg man found guilty on one of two rape charges
WOODSTOCK — After less than two hours of deliberation on Tuesday, a jury unanimously found Patrick “P.J.” Wakeman, 40, of Edinburg, guilty on one of two counts of rape he was facing.
The jury declared a not guilty verdict on the charge of rape relating to the first of two encounters and found Wakeman guilty on the charge relating to the second encounter.
The courtroom was silent as the verdict was read by the clerk, and both the victim and Wakeman’s family kept their composure at first. The victim’s family members were tearful on the stand during the penalty phase of the trial, which followed the verdict. They told the jury about how the incident has broken their family and made their lives difficult.
“I’ll never forgive you,” the victim’s mother said angrily as she looked directly at Wakeman.
Wakeman took the stand to talk about his military service and his medical issues resulting from his various deployments. His voice cracked when he talked about having to miss his youngest child’s first birthday.
During cross-examination, prosecutor Louis Campola asked about Wakeman’s prior conviction from 2014 of consensual sex with a minor older than 15, to which he pleaded no contest. Wakeman explained that it was a 16-year-old girl who would babysit for him. Campola highlighted the similarities between the victim in this case and the victim in the previous case, both of whom were 16 at the time and babysitting his children.
The prosecution’s motion to have Wakeman’s bond revoked was granted, and he was immediately taken into the sheriff’s custody while mouthing to his family that he loved them.
During the second day of trial, the court heard testimony from witnesses for the prosecution. A forensic nurse testified to the evidence collection, and forensic scientists testified to the results of the Y-chromosomal DNA testing that stated that Wakeman could not be excluded as a match to the evidence collected from the victim’s cervical area after the attack.
The court also heard the testimony of defense witnesses called to the stand by Wakeman’s attorney William Allen III. Wakeman’s mother and wife both maintained that he was innocent, and that the victim acted inappropriately toward him at different times.
Wakeman was the defense’s last witness, and he said that the victim had asked him to teach her how to fight and shoot on several occasions. He also described the “moves” he taught the victim, testimony that was very different from the victim’s testimony Monday. He said some of the “moves” involved standing up rather than on the floor, as she explained.
He also said the picture he took of her from behind came at her request and after their conversation about beauty trends and the popularity of a “thigh gap” at the time. She also asked him what a guy would like in a girl.
His two small children were in the kitchen the entire time he was teaching her moves, he testified, which conflicted with her testimony that he had put his children upstairs and blocked their exit.
During the penalty phase, after the guilty verdict had been read on one of the charges, Allen asked the jury to have “some degree of mercy,” noting that they found him not guilty on one of the charges. Campola focused on how Wakeman “destroyed lives” and he asked the jury to send a message with the sentence they choose.
The jury decided to return to court today to deliberate on sentencing. Wakeman faces a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Contact staff writer Briahnna Brown at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org