BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – Both the prosecution and the defense finished their cases this morning in the rape trial of two owners of the former Colonial restaurant in Binghamton.
Ron Kweller is charged with criminal sexual abuse and rape while Jordan Rindgen is charged with criminal sex act and unlawfully dealing with a child. Both men are accused of taking two highly-intoxicated women into the basement of Rent Bing and then forcing a 21 year-old victim to submit to sex acts, including oral sex and intercourse.
The prosecution brought Investigator Amanda Miller from the Binghamton Police Detective Bureau to the stand. Miller served as the lead investigator on this case.
Miller testified that the alleged victim was very distraught and emotional when she was interviewed. Miller also testified about a search of 141 Washington Street, the location of Ron Kweller’s real estate business Rent Bing, that took place about a week after the alleged rape. Under cross examination, she admitted that no tangible forensic evidence, such as alcohol bottles or DNA evidence, was found during the search.
Miller was the last witness for the prosecution. The defense then made a motion to have the judge drop the charges due to lack of evidence. Judge Carol Cocchiola denied those motions with the exception of a sexual abuse charge against Rindgen because the victim did not testify that he penetrated her with his fingers, as prosecutor Alyssa Congdon had indicated in her opening statement.
Tom Jackson, Rindgen’s defense attorney, called only one witness, New York State Trooper Elyssa Brege. Brege was initially dispatched to the alleged victim’s home in the evening following the alleged early morning rape to take statements from the two women. She testified that while her body camera recorded that interview, it was never requested by the District Attorney’s Office and has since been deleted.
Kweller’s attorneys, Paul Battisti and Elena Fast, did not call any witnesses. Cocchiola then sent the jury home for the day with a plan to begin closing arguments tomorrow morning.