Convicted rapist gets new charges
After hearing from two other women who testified that Stephen Homan had inappropriate sexual contact with them, a Custer County jury deliberated for approximately six hours Thursday night before finding him guilty of raping a Southwestern Oklahoma State University coed on March 12, 2017.
The jury recommended five years in prison as punishment. District Judge Doug Haught set formal sentencing for Sept. 17 at 1:30 p.m.
Jurors found the 24-year-old Homan not guilty of first-degree burglary for allegedly entering the victim’s house without permission prior to having sex with her.
At the same time he was in court here, the defendant was being charged Thursday in Cleveland County with two similar crimes there. Both were rape by instrumentation, one supposedly occurring June 25, 2017, and the other Nov. 12, 2017. His bond there was set at $100,000.
It may be awhile before he can make bond, though. He was taken into custody here immediately after the jurors returned their verdict at 10:18 p.m. and was being held Friday in the Custer County Jail with of course no bond set.
In Oklahoma, first-degree rape is an 85-percent crime which means Homan must serve 85 percent of the five years, assuming that’s what Judge Haught assesses, before he can be considered for parole.
Homan testified at length Thursday in his own defense as the last witness, admitting that he had sex with the SWOSU coed – which DNA tests had already proven – but denying that he raped her. He also denied the accusations of the two witnesses he allegedly touched inappropriately in Cleveland County. Judge Haught allowed them to appear here after hearings held outside the jury’s presence.
One of them was a young woman from Mustang whom Homan had served with in the National Guard. As with the Weatherford case, she indicated she woke up with him in bed touching her inappropriately following a night of heavy drinking.
Assistant District Attorney Dana Hada, who prosecuted the case, said the other woman has two children with a third on the way.
She too was intoxicated when she was allegedly violated, said defense attorney Ryan Recker. Even so, he agreed, perhaps sarcastically, that she “knew it was Stephen Homan who carried her up the stairs and put her to bed” after she passed out drunk.
Hada told the jurors they could not convict Homan of the Custer County charges based on those other alleged offenses, but she said they indicated “a pattern of conduct” and not just “drunken mistakes.”
Attempts to get copies of the cases in Cleveland County were unsuccessful Friday, but Custer County D.A. Angela Marsee indicated they did involve things about which the last two witnesses here had testified.
“There’s a provision (in the law) that allows evidence of other crimes of a similar nature to be allowed into evidence,” said Mrs. Marsee, “so that’s a totally proper form of evidence for the jury to consider.”
Homan himself was the only witness called by the defense. He said he was born in California but grew up at Elk City and Weatherford.
Under questioning by defense attorney Ryan Recker, he said the day of his encounter with the SWOSU coed he had recently returned from a deployment with the Guard and he got a call about a party on Indiana Street in Weatherford. Before leaving home, he said he filled one of his mother’s water bottles – which she buys at Wal-Mart filled with water – with coconut rum and another with vodka. He said he also put 10 beers in his Army backpack.
“I started drinking as soon as I got there,” he said, adding that he ended up drinking most of the rum he had brought and then got two beers out of the backpack.
He said the party host, whom he called Blake, was irritating a couple of the females there, including the coed that Homan eventually had sex with.
Asked by Recker if she asked him to help her, he said, “She asked me to stay close by. Hopefully that would keep Blake from going over, trying to creep her out.
“I was happy to help. I had done that before (but not necessarily for the same girl).”
Homan said he ended up finishing off the vodka he had brought and started sipping on beer.
Eventually the party moved to other locations, he said, including the residence of the girl who became the rape victim in the charge against him. But the sex occurred only after he had left there and then returned to look for his wallet after everyone else had gone.
Recker wanted to know if during his first interview with Detective Matt Bartel of the Weatherford Police Department he believed he had in fact had sex with the girl who lived there. He said no, and agreed that it was only when the DNA tests proved he had that he began to remember things better.
Ms. Hada quizzed him strongly about that on cross-examination. She said he couldn’t remember having sex with the young woman when Bartel interviewed him, yet today – during the trial – he not only remembered it but that it was consensual.
She said the DNA had proven the sex occurred so he figured it must have been consensual.
Earlier in the trial the jury had been shown copies of text messages Homan had sent to the victim after police were contacted. She testified that some were received even while she was at the hospital being examined.
One of them said, “Hey, this is Stephen. What happened last night?”
Another: “I remember leaving the party with ya’ll and smoking some weed but after that I don’t have a clue.”
Then one sent the following day was shown. “Alright, I just heard what you’re accusing me of and I’m not very happy about it.”
Homan admitted that he does not attend Southwestern Oklahoma although he did at one point in the past and belonged to a fraternity. He also cited overseas deployments with the National Guard including service in Iraq.
That led to very different views of him by the two principal lawyers in the case.
“He’s not a student at Southwestern Oklahoma State University but he’s hanging around college parties,” said Ms. Hada. “He’s hanging around 18 and 19-year-old girls.”
Recker, on the other hand, concluded by saying, “Both these kids drink to excess and wound up having sex. That’s what this is.”