Date of Alleged Crime


Jefferson County, WI Whitewater Three Sept 5, 1998

Jarrett M. Adams and Dimitri Henley, both blacks, were convicted by an all white jury of sexually assaulting Shawn E. Stratton, a white female student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  A third black, Rovaughn Hill, was also charged in the assault, but his trial ended in a hung jury.  On the day of the alleged assault, Adams, Henley, and Hill, were playing video games in a university dormitory room with a student named Shawn Demain, whom they had met only that day.  According to Heidi Sheets, Stratton's roommate, both she and Stratton invited the three young men to their room four floors above.

On the way upstairs, Sheets stopped at another room. When she later arrived at her own room, she found Stratton on a bed performing oral sex on one of the men, while another was on the bed, and the third was on the floor with his pants down.  After seeing what was going on, Sheets stormed out of the room, but Stratton followed her, asking, “Are you mad at me?” Sheets called her “a slut.”

Stratton, however, denied that the three men had been invited upstairs.  She denied having oral sex with them, saying the scene described by Sheets was not as it appeared.  Stratton said the three men suddenly appeared behind her when she opened her door and they sexually assaulted her.  On cross examination, Stratton admitted that she had said nothing to indicate she was being assaulted either when Sheets came into the room or when the two conferred in the hallway.  Even after talking to Sheets in the hallway, Stratton did not attempt to seek help or flee the building but returned to her room where she had non-consensual intercourse with the three men.

After the men left, Stratton called her boyfriend, Joshua Lodwick, and told him she had been raped.  She did not want him to come to her room, but instead went to his room.  Lodwick wanted her to go to a hospital and call police, but she did not want to do that. The next day she changed her mind and went to a hospital and on the day following that she went to the police and reported she had been sexually assaulted.

In a police report, Demain, the student in whose room Stratton had met the defendants, stated that he saw Stratton socializing with her alleged assailants in the smoking area of the dormitory after the supposed gang rape occurred.  He also testified to this effect at Hill's trial in 2001, which ended in a hung jury.  It is not clear what subsequently happened to Hill, but presumably he was acquitted at a new trial or charges against him were dropped.

However, at the trial of Adams and Henley, defense counsel had failed to locate Demain and call him as a witness.  Perhaps as a result, the two were convicted and each was sentenced to 28 years in prison.  In 2006, a federal judge overturned the convictions of Adams and Henley due to this failure.  Charges against Adams were dropped in 2007 and he was released.  Henley was released on $1000 bail in 2008, but as of last notice the prosecution is appealing a judge's decision to give Henley a new trial.  (CWC)  [4/09]



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