Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Former Officer from Venice Convicted of Raping Woman

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Former Officer from Venice Convicted of Raping Woman

Article excerpt

A jury in Madison County on Thursday convicted former Venice police Officer Roland D. Wilson Jr. of raping a woman he had stopped on the street, a scheme that five other women testified he had used on them.

Wilson, 25, was taken to the County Jail in Edwardsville immediately after the jury convicted him of aggravated criminal sexual assault, official misconduct and armed violence.

Associate Judge J. Lawrence Keshner revoked Wilson's $250,000 bond after the verdict was read at 6:30 p.m.

As Wilson was handcuffed, his mother cried and was led from the courtroom by his father. Wilson's grandmother, Clara Shipp, said: "I'm really stunned. This has been an injustice from the beginning."

Assistant State's Attorney Teresa Brown said she would seek the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. "Justice was done," she said.

The victim hugged Brown after the verdict. She had no comment.

Defense attorney James Gomric of Belleville said the verdict would be appealed.

Wilson still faces charges that he sexually assaulted four other women and robbed a man he had arrested.

Wilson denied the allegations from the witness stand earlier in the day.

The conviction involves only one woman, but she was followed to the witness stand this week by five others who told similar stories about Wilson stopping them on the street, taking them to an isolated area and forcing them into sex.

In the trial that began Tuesday, the six women testified that Wilson was in uniform and wearing his pistol when he coerced them into sex. Two women said they feared they would be shot if they fled. Another woman said she agreed to have sex with Wilson at the police station because he promised to help with her case, which he did not do.

Gomric, Wilson's lawyer, named each woman and asked Wilson if he had sexual contact with her.

Each time, Wilson responded, "No, sir. …

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