NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Sept. 6, 2022) – The 59-year-old ordered to spend the rest of his life in prison for sexually abusing a child is appealing his conviction.
Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court jurors found Michael Hodkinson of New Philadelphia guilty of rape and gross sexual imposition when he was tried for the crimes last December. He’s now asking the Fifth District Court of Appeals to order a new trial, claiming the public defender who represented him did not adequately prepare for the proceedings or cross-examine the witnesses against him. He also contends that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support his conviction.
Assistant County Prosecutor Kristine Beard represented the state in the case. She has filed a brief with the appeals court disputing Hodkinson’s assertions. Oral arguments will take place remotely from the courtroom of Judge Elizabeth Thomakos tomorrow morning.