Judge dismisses 7 of 14 sex charges against ex-Realtor based on 20-year-old allegations

At left, Timothy Hall, an ex-Realtor based in Springboro, listens Wednesday during his trial in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Credit: Lawrence Budd

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At left, Timothy Hall, an ex-Realtor based in Springboro, listens Wednesday during his trial in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Credit: Lawrence Budd

The Springboro businessman indicted last year on 17 sex charges involving two accusers and based on 20-year-old allegations, will now face only seven charges in his trial in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Before defense lawyers began making their case Thursday, Judge Tim Tepe dismissed seven charges, including all those still pending involving one of two accusers in the case against Realtor Timothy G. Hall, 57, of Clearcreek Twp. Three others were dropped before the start of Hall’s trial.

Tepe dismissed the charges due to changes in the definition of ’sexual conduct’ under Ohio law in 1996 that, after hearing the accuser’s testimony, meant Hall had been charged under the wrong section of the law.

Tepe denied a motion for a mistrial, ruling the value of this accuser’s testimony outweighed any prejudice of the jury. The judge also noted another jury would likely hear the same testimony if the case was refiled by prosecutors.

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“The court has obviously struggled with this this week,” Tepe said, in making his rulings before the lunch break Thursday in the trial.

Before restarting after lunch, the judge advised the jury that the first accuser’s testimony was of limited value and told them not to speculate on why he was making this direction.

Hall still faces four rape and three sexual battery charges involving the second accuser.

The two women, 40 and 37 years old respectively, testified on Tuesday and Wednesday about incidents they said happened between 1991 and 1999.

Both later worked for Hall, a point pressed by his lawyers to undermine allegations of sex abuse while they were girls attending school in Springboro.

Detectives from Springboro and Clearcreek Twp., the unincorporated area around Springboro, testified Thursday, before Hall’s lawyers called Nancy Johnson, a former Springboro teacher.

Johnson, now living in Arizona, told the jury the she had no recollection of the first accuser twice telling her of the abuse, apparently contradicting testimony of the woman, now 40, and living in South Carolina.

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Lawyer Kevin Hughes pressed Springboro Detective Terry Dunkel about the investigation. In their questions to prosecution witnesses, Hall’s lawyers have used court, school and medical records, not gathered in the criminal investigation, raising questions about the allegations.

Prosecutors have played several recordings of Hall supporting the first accuser’s truthfulness and admitting to some questionable acts, but not those apparently underlying the charges, including recorded phone calls.

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Dunkel described how police searched the Springboro business of Hall, an ex-Realtor, and his township home before arresting him in May 2019.

Hughes was admonished by Tepe after repeatedly questioning Dunkel about an earlier unfounded sexual assault claim by the second accuser, who at one time claimed a mafia gang was responsible, but later implicated Hall, according to testimony.

Assistant County Prosecutor Travis Vieux countered by noting that in “cold cases,” such as the one against Hall, reconstructing from old records can be less productive than pressing the suspect for a confession.

Dunkel agreed partial admissions were “still valuable” and that sex offenders sometimes minimize their crimes.

The trial, scheduled to end Friday, is now expected to continue next week.

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