Jury finds Middletown man guilty of rape, kidnapping and not guilty of other sexual assaults

The trial of Taranpreet Singh, accused of raping four women in 2019 and 2020, started Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in front of Judge Michael Oster in Butler County Common Pleas Court in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
The trial of Taranpreet Singh, accused of raping four women in 2019 and 2020, started Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in front of Judge Michael Oster in Butler County Common Pleas Court in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A Middletown man has been found guilty of the rape and kidnapping of woman in 2019, but the jury found Taranpreet Singh not guilty of two other alleged sexual assaults.

During Singh’s trial last week in Butler County Common Pleas Court, prosecutors said he terrorized and raped women after offering them rides in Middletown and Hamilton in 2019 and 2020, and they added that DNA evidence linked him to the three alleged victims.

The defense said the 31-year-old man made some bad choices while having marital difficulties and began picking up prostitutes.

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Singh was found guilty by a jury late Friday night of rape and kidnapping for the assault on Sept. 5, 2019 of a woman, who testified at trial that she was offered a ride from Circle K on Pleasant Avenue. She said the man, identified as Singh, stopped the vehicle on East Avenue and dragged her by the hair into an abandoned building and raped her.

Assistant prosecutor Kelly Heile delivers opening statements in the trial of Taranpreet Singh, accused of raping four women in 2019 and 2020, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in Butler County Common Pleas Court in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Assistant prosecutor Kelly Heile delivers opening statements in the trial of Taranpreet Singh, accused of raping four women in 2019 and 2020, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in Butler County Common Pleas Court in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The verdict followed four days of testimony and several hours of deliberation. Judge Michael Oster Jr. set sentencing for Nov. 15. He faces a maximum of 22 years in prison.

The defense pointed to the alleged victims’ past criminal records and, in two cases, that they were slow to report the assaults. In one case, the alleged victim was proven to be less than truthful about a previous case.

“These women are prostitutes,” said defense attorney Steve Kilburn during opening statements. “He is ashamed and embarrassed that he picked up prostitutes. Just because Mr. Singh’s DNA was found does not mean he raped anyone.”

Defense attorney Steve Kilburn delivers opening statements in the trial of Taranpreet Singh, accused of raping four women in 2019 and 2020, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in Butler County Common Pleas Court in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Defense attorney Steve Kilburn delivers opening statements in the trial of Taranpreet Singh, accused of raping four women in 2019 and 2020, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in Butler County Common Pleas Court in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Singh, of Village Drive, was found not guilty of multiple felony charges for alleged sexual assaults on two other women in 2020. Charges involving a fourth victim were dismissed before trial

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