Arraignment came fast for Brian Rash in a case that has taken a few years to get to this point. Ottawa County District Court Judge Alicia Littlefield set an arraignment for the same day after hearing witnesses in the preliminary hearing Monday morning for Rash. Rash, 38, is facing seven separate charges of attempted first degree rape, four counts of first degree rape by instrumentation, and two counts of lewd and indecent proposals to a child. Rash, who remains out on bond, appeared with his attorney Ken Gallon for arraignment later in the afternoon before Judge Robert Haney who set the case to be heard on the felony disposition docket on Oct. 3 at 10 a.m.
Assistant District Attorney Ben Loring called three witnesses in the preliminary case, Cory Rose, Mark McKinney and Rash's ex-wife, Felisa Ball.
Rash served as the band instructor for Wyandotte Schools from 1997 to 2000. Two of the witnesses, students at the time, Rose and McKinney testified that Rash gave each of them private music lessons at his home.
As part of the Monday's testimony Rose testified that he was a twelve-year-old fifth grade band student at Wyandotte at the time of the inappropriate incident. Rose said that his relationship with Rash started with the band teacher helping him as a student picking out instruments, that then progressed over time to private lessons at Rash's home. Rose recounted one incident from Nov. of 2001 during which he claims Rash gave the then 12-year-old a massage that Rose felt was entirely inappropriate in nature.
McKinney, who is now 23, testified that he was molested four or more times after receiving private music lessons at Rash's home in Wyandotte. McKinney said his relationship with the teacher was, "Very inappropriate from the very beginning." McKinney said that Rash would park along the dirt roads on the way to his house as he was taking him home and performed oral sodomy and anal penetration by instrument on McKinney in his truck. McKinney said he was 12-years-old at the time of these incidents.
In Gallon's cross examination he asked both men if they had been given specific instructions in the previous court hearing on the matter and both said they had been told only to tell the truth.
Also in Gallon's cross of McKinney, he testified that he was currently in his fourth rehabilitation program for drug and alcohol addiction, and had now been sober for 63 days, but had also had previous periods of sobriety.
McKinney also testified that he had not seen Rash since he left to teach at Neosho.
McKinney testified in the summer of 2009 that he went to Rash's home in Wyandotte and vandalized Rash's property, breaking windows, and writing in crayon that Rash, "is a molester."
Littlefield stopped the hearing to remind McKinney that he was waiving his Fifth Amendment rights by testifying about the vandalism and could be prosecuted for the crime. McKinney said he had consulted with his attorney and wished to proceed.
Gallon also questioned McKinney about earlier testimony he had given in the previous trial. McKinney said, "When I said he had raped me with his genitalia, it didn't happen. I stretched the truth." He went on to say, "I felt like it had to be that for anybody to listen to me." McKinney said he later wrote a letter to Assistant District Attorney Ben Loring, stating that he wanted to clear his conscious and tell the truth."
Both men said during their testimony that Rash warned them not to tell anyone about these incidents.
The previous case regarding the charges against Rash was dismissed without prejudice after two witnesses for the prosecution had contact and possibly discussed the case. The charges were refiled on May 16 resulting in Monday's proceedings.