Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 20, 2017

Sheriff doubted sexual assault story

By Andy Hallman | Jan 24, 2013

The Washington County Sheriff said that he doubted the claims of a man who said he was sexually assaulted in the Washington County Jail.

Martin Medrano Vargas said that Rudolph Edwards raped him while the two were inmates in the Washington County Jail on July 16, 2011. Edwards was charged with third degree sexual assault but was found not guilty by a jury last Friday.

Medrano testified that he told a jailer that he was sexually assaulted on July 16, 2011. He was transferred to the Henry County Jail on Sept. 6. While in the Henry County Jail, he claimed to have remembered additional details of the assault, which he related to a Henry County Jailer, who then informed the jail administrator in Washington County.

Dunbar said that the information he received from the Henry County Jail was that Medrano experienced pain when he urinated, and that this was a result of an act that Edwards performed on him. Medrano also claimed to have remembered that Edwards squeezed his genitals. Dunbar instructed the jail administrator to arrange for Henry County to take Medrano to a hospital to see if there were any injuries to him. The hospital did not find any injuries.

When the results from the hospital came back negative for injuries, Dunbar said he did not see the need to interview Medrano again. He found the additional details that Medrano supplied hard to believe. He said that Medrano did not tell the Washington County Jailers those additional details for the month and a half that he remained in the Washington County Jail after the alleged incident.

Dunbar said it was not reasonable to think that a person could forget incidents of the magnitude Medrano described. He said that if Medrano had a problem urinating, he would be reminded of the incident within a few hours.

Dunbar said that he could not say there were any contradictions in Medrano’s story over time. He said he was surprised that the incidents Medrano recalled in the Henry County Jail would not have come out sooner.

Washington County Investigator Chad Ellis testified in Edwards’s trial that the camera in the pod where Edwards and Medrano stayed shows Medrano entering Edwards’ cell at 5:45 p.m. on July 16, 2011. Ellis said the video showed Edwards enter Medrano’s cell at 5:30, 5:37, 7:04, 7:40, 9:30, 9:33, 9:39 and 9:59 p.m.

Medrano testified that Edwards invited him into his cell to look at his drawings. He testified that when he entered Edwards’ cell, Edwards forced Medrano to perform a sex act on him. Medrano said that Edwards raped him twice after Medrano returned to his cell.

Dunbar said he only watched a few minutes of the videotape from that night. He said he did not see a jailer walk by the cells during the few minutes he watched it. He said it is a statewide jail policy to check inmates at least once every hour. He said the Washington County Jail tries to check inmates every half hour.

Dunbar said he asked jail administrator Gina Greiner if the inmate checks were performed the night of July 16, 2011 and he was told that they were.

One of the jailers’ duties is to watch the cameras located throughout the jail. Dunbar said there are about 70 cameras at the jail and that about 10 of them are exterior cameras.

“For a jailer to watch every picture is virtually impossible,” Dunbar said. “What we try to do is if someone has drawn our attention, we’ll focus on them, but the jailer has other duties.”



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