By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer
MADISON COUNTY —
The Kentucky Court of Appeals recently upheld the conviction of a man who was found guilty last year of attempting to rape a Berea woman.
A jury found Joseph R. Maziarz II guilty of first-degree attempted rape following a two-day trial in Madison Circuit Court. The jury recommended a sentence of five years in prison, and he was formally sentenced in May.
Maziarz appealed his case to the state court, asserting the trial court had made several errors, according to the ruling. Judge William G. Clouse presided over the trial.
During the trial, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith argued that Maziarz had been upset over his recent breakup with the woman’s daughter. He came by the woman’s home July 2, 2011, while she was caring for his two young children.
The woman let him in so he could see his children, and after they fell asleep, she said Maziarz attempted to sexually assault her. Both children awoke during the struggle, and the oldest child, who was 3 at the time, entered the bedroom.
Maziarz asserted that the jury should have been instructed to consider a fourth-degree assault charge during deliberation, a witness was allowed to improperly testify upon the ultimate question of guilt and his status as a convicted felon erroneously was admitted into evidence.
The appeals court found that the trial court acted properly in each of the instances Maziarz highlighted, and the panel of three judges unanimously affirmed the trial verdict.
At the time of the attempted rape, Maziarz was on probation for a 2007 felony conviction for second-degree burglary and receiving stolen property (firearm). He must serve the remainder of that five-year sentence consecutively with the time for the attempted rape.
He also will have to register as a sex offender after he is released. He will be under a five-year conditional release upon the completion of his sentences.
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@