Dead Victim's Police Statements Lead To Rape Conviction

CLEVELAND (AP) - A man has been sentenced to four years in prison for rape, even though the woman described as the victim could not testify against him at trial.

The 31-year-old woman died of a heroin overdose before the case went to trial.

Prosecutors decided to try the case without her by relying on comments she made right after the attack.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Christopher A. Boyko sentenced Jason T. Fallat on Wednesday. At trial, Fallat acknowledged he had sex with the woman, but he said it was consensual and that she accused him of rape when he balked at paying her.

Fallat's lawyer, Timothy Haffey, said Fallat did not rape the woman and had made a mistake by getting involved with a prostitute.

He said Fallat's conduct was "not uncharacteristic of a single male who lost his way."

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)