Update: Village rape suspect denies charges, says attorney

Eric Marotta | Editor Published:

Northfield Village -- The attorney for a Northfield Village man charged with rape and kidnapping of a 16-year-old girl says his client denies the charges.

"In no way, shape, or form did it ever happen," said attorney Thomas Watkins, who is representing 27-year-old Cranbrook Drive resident John J. Muzic. "He's agreed to take a polygraph."

According to Stow Municipal Court records, Muzic did not enter pleas to one count each of first-degree felony rape and second-degree felony kidnapping Jan. 31 and the case was sent to a Summit County grand jury. Muzic was released from Summit County Jail on a 10 percent of $500,000 bond Jan. 31.

Police allege Muzic engaged in sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl "by purposely compelling her to submit by force or threat of force," according to the village's rape filing. The kidnapping charge alleges Muzic restrained the girl, "by force, threat or deception," the charge states.

Both charges stem from an incident that allegedly took place Jan. 25 at Muzic's home, the charges state.

Watkins said he has represented numerous such cases in the past.

"They're not always what they seem to be," Watkins said.

Village Law Director Brad Bryan said police arrested Muzic the evening of Jan. 25, or early Jan. 26. He declined to comment further on the case.

E-mail: emarotta@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9433

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