The Fairfield County Prosecutor’s Office announced today, March 12, that former Pickerington High School Central football standout Roger Lewis Jr. has been indicted on felony rape charges.
Lewis, 18, was indicted March 8 by a Fairfield County grand jury on two counts of first-degree rape, according to a press release issued by the county prosecutor’s office on Monday morning.
The indictment follows Lewis’ arrest by Pickerington police, who charged him Jan. 31 with raping an 18-year-old woman police identified as Lewis' classmate and acquaintance.
According to police, following a Jan. 6 traffic stop in Pickerington in which Lewis was driving his accuser's vehicle with her as a passenger, the woman reported Lewis raped her in December 2011 and on Jan. 6.
His attorney, Neil Rosenberg of Columbus, said last month Lewis is innocent and would fight the charges if indicted.
The prosecutor’s office press release on Monday said a summons had been issued to Lewis following the indictment because he posted bond and was released from the Fairfield County jail following a Feb. 1 initial hearing in Fairfield County Municipal Court. At that hearing, visiting Judge Teresa Liston reduced Lewis' bond from $250,000 to $75,000.
Both charges against Lewis carry a maximum of 11 years in prison, if he is convicted.
A football standout at PHS Central, Lewis earned second-team all-league and special mention all-district recognition this past season.
He had verbally committed to play football at Ohio State University, but on Jan. 29, PHS Central football coach Jay Sharrett told The Columbus Dispatch Lewis did not yet have the requisite pre-enrollment test score and that he was exploring other options for college, including Ohio University, Marshall and Bowling Green.
Lewis was arrested a day before National Signing Day, in which high school senior football players announced which colleges they will attend next year.
For more information on this story, see the March 15 edition of ThisWeek Pickerington.