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franklin county times

Rape Trial goes into day two

By Staff
Melissa Cason, Franklin County Times
A Russellville man had his day in court yesterday as the State of Alabama began presenting their case before a Franklin County jury.
The State of Alabama began its case against Ronnie Gholston, 48, of 187 Gravel Hill Road in Russellville., who is charged with rape, robbery, and kidnapping.
The 26-year-old victim took the stand yesterday morning, and told the jury that Gholston was hiding in the bushes at the end of the building and forced himself into her car in November 2006.
"I heard something in the bushes and originally thought it was a dog or something," the victim told the jury. "Before I knew it, he was in my face, holding a gun to my head…telling me to scoot over and shut up."
She said that she immediately complied with Gholston's request. The victim told the jury that the defendant drove her down Highway 243 and then cut across to Highway 24 before making a turn onto County Road 87 near the Waco Community.
She said that Gholston took her to a field, and forced her to have sex with him.
The victim testified that after the rape, Gholston took her to the business where she worked and told her to get him the money out of the building or he would kill her.
The victim told the jury that she did was instructed by Gholston, and that she gave the money to him. She testified that after she gave him the money, she ran back into the business, locked the door, and called police. Gholston left the scene in her car.
Defense Attorney John Benn contended that the victim and Gholston were partying together and that the sexual acts were consensual, and that she and Gholston conspired to take the money from the business in order to buy drugs so that they could continue to party.
However, the victim said that she had never seen Gholston until he approached her that day in November.
The state will call their last witness this morning, and the defense will make their case.Benn said that all of the facts about the case will come to light in today's testimony, but would not say who is set to testify.