ASHLAND, OH — Suspected serial killer Shawn Grate has pleaded guilty to 15 of the 23 counts he has been charged with, including four counts of rape with sexually violent predator specifications and two counts of gross abuse of a corpse.
Because Grate pleaded guilty to the rape charges on Wednesday, jurors were not shown videos Grate made of himself allegedly raping victims Stacey Stanley and Jane Doe.
Grate was arrested after Doe was able to escape him and call 911 on September 13, 2016.
Grate told Ashland County Common Pleas Judge Ron Forsthoefel that he changed his plea because of Doe. He said that he made the decision “to keep from rubbing her face in it anymore.”
Retired Ashland police Lieutenant Joel Icenhour, who specializes in analyzing cell phones, testified on Wednesday that he’d analyzed two of Grate’s phones. He described images and videos that he had seen of both Doe and Stanley.
One video, which was played in court, was filmed at either 2:10 or 3:10 A.M. on September 9, according to Icenhour. In the video, Grate, who had met Stanley earlier that evening while helping her change a tire, can be seen trying to persuade her to have oral sex with him.
“You told me I could leave,” she can be heard pleading. “Just give me one good minute,” Grate said.
When asked what the second video showed, Icenhour replied “Stacey being raped by Shawn Grate,” and went on to clarify that he meant “orally.”
Icenhour explained that one of Stanley’s eyes was red, which he said was consistent with choking or strangulation.
Grate faces a possible prison sentence of 72 years to life in prison, including a mandatory 50 years, for those counts. The judge said he would schedule a sentencing date after the remaining charges have been adjudicated.
Grate still faces a further eight counts, including four charges of aggravated murder, three counts of kidnapping, and aggravated robbery.
In all, Grate has confessed to killing five women, including a young, unidentified woman whose remains were found in Marion County in 2007.
Jurors are due back Monday for closing arguments and deliberations.
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Main photo: Shawn Grate [Ashland County Sheriff’s Office]