Trial begins for Middletown man charged in series of alleged rapes: What attorneys said in opening statements

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

Defense contends Singh was picking up prostitutes, assaulted nobody.

Prosecutors say Taranpreet Singh terrorized and raped women after offering them a ride in Middletown and Hamilton in 2019 and 2020 and DNA evidence links him to three victims.

But the defense says the 31-year-old Middletown man made some bad choices while having marital difficulties and began picking up prostitutes. Singh’s rape trial began Monday in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

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

“Desperate people do desperate things. These women are prostitutes,” said defense attorney Steve Kilburn during opening statements. “He is ashamed and embarrassed that he picked up prostitutes.”

Kilburn said Singh, a native of India who moved here with his family to start a cleaning business, was surprised when police questioned him.

“They are saying I rape them?” Kilburn said was Singh’s response when questioned by police.

“Just because Mr. Singh’s DNA was found does not mean he raped anyone,” Kilburn said, noting when left alone in an interrogation room, his client began crying and praying,

“Serial rapists don’t do this. They don’t have remorse,” the defense attorney said.

Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Heile told the jury during opening statements how Singh victimized women after he offered them a ride.

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

On Sept. 5, 2019, a woman reported she was offered a ride from Circle K on Pleasant Avenue. She said the man stopped the vehicle on East Avenue and dragged her by the hair into an abandoned building and raped her.

In the Aug. 23, 2020 incident, a woman said she was forced into a vehicle on East Avenue, held against her will at gunpoint and sexually assaulted.

On April 2, 2020, a woman reported to Middletown police that she was sexually assaulted at about 9:10 p.m. at Central Avenue and Carmody Boulevard.

In one case Singh held a gun during the assault and in another, after the assault Singh pulled a $100 bill out of the woman’s back pocket and took it, Heile said.

Singh, of Village Drive in Middletown, is charged with multiple counts of rape, aggravated robbery, and kidnapping with a gun specification. Charges involving a fourth alleged victim were dismissed before trial.

ExploreMan accused of 2 rapes in Hamilton is person of interest in Middletown cases

Singh has been held in the Butler County Jail since his arrest in lieu of $450,000 bond.

The trial is expected to last five days.

About the Author