The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a March 2016 ruling this week for a Ball State alumnus and former football player convicted of rape.
Aaron Jeffery King, 26, was found guilty of rape, criminal deviate conduct, criminal confinement and strangulation and was sentenced to 40 years in prison more than a year ago.
After his sentencing, King appealed the ruling, arguing that "fundamental error occurred" when the prosecutor for the case talked with the victim during a break in her testimony. King also claimed that his strangulation conviction "was not supported by sufficient evidence."
According to the Court of Appeals decision (document available below), King failed to establish that the prosecutor's actions made for an unfair trial.
Additionally, the appeals court stated that King's claim about strangulation evidence was "dubious" and "meritless." According to court documents, King squeezed the victim's neck so hard that she recalled "everything going black" and she "thought she was going to die." During the trial, nurses also verified the extent of the victim's injuries, and the jury viewed photos of marks on the victim's neck.
The former running back for Ball State's football team was accused of assaulting the woman in her Northwest-side apartment in 2013.
The victim — who had been King's girlfriend during their high school years — told police King had forced her to engage in various sex acts, bound her wrists with duct tape and choked her.
Judge John Feick, who ruled on the original 40-year sentence, said King would be classified as a sexually violent predator and would remain on probation for the rest of his life upon his release from prison.