Lacey man being retried on rape charge

Staff writerJuly 23, 2013 

A former Red Wind Casino bartender whose 2010 rape conviction was overturned on appeal is being retried for the charge in Thurston County Superior Court.
Marcos Lozano's second-degree rape conviction was overturned in March after the Washington Court of Appeals found that the jury should not have heard evidence that two women had accused Lozano of raping them in two separate incidents.
At trial in 2010, the two different women were allowed to testify about the two separate allegations that Lozano raped them. A jury subsequently acquitted Lozano of raping a 21-year-old woman after a night of drinking in a Lacey bar. But the jury convicted Lozano based on the other woman's accusation that Lozano raped her at his apartment while she was unconscious.
Both allegations concerned incidents that occurred in Lozano's Lacey apartment in February, 2009.
In March, the Court of Appeals overturned Lozano's sole rape conviction, stating that the trial judge's justification for joining two separate allegations of rape into a single trial relied on a statute that the Washington Supreme Court has since declared is unconstitutional. 
In general, defense attorneys argue that "joining" separate accusations into one trial is prejudicial to a jury and should not be allowed. 
For Lozano's retrial, "joining" two cases is no longer an issue, since he is not being retried for the charge he was acquitted of - the charge that was based on the 21-year-old's accusation.
Lozano, now 32, was sentenced to an eight-year prison sentence after his rape conviction. He remains in custody as his pending second-degree rape trial is adjudicated in Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christine Schaller's courtroom.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 jpawloski@theolympian.com

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