Judge dismisses 50-year-old case
Rape charges filed by sister

By David Hedges, Publisher
The Times Record-Roane County Reporter

Roane Circuit Judge David Nibert has dismissed rape charges a woman filed against her brother 50 years after the alleged crime.

In a ruling entered this week, Nibert said the charges would be difficult to defend after so many years had passed.

Zelda Trembly Eagle brought the charges against her brother, Orville Trembly, now 71 and a resident of Wood County.

She said she did not come forward when she was a child because she did not understand what her brother was doing to her. She said the incidents occurred when he took her to the woods, allegedly to go squirrel hunting.

When she got older she said did not want to hurt her parents. She testified in a December hearing that she decided to press charges because her father was dead and her mother was in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer's.

When State Police and Roane prosecutor Mark Sergent refused to present the case to a grand jury last year, Eagle presented the case herself. The grand jury returned with two indictments against her brother, one for statutory rape and another for forcible rape, both under laws existing at that time.

The charges allege the incidents occurred sometime between 1953 and 1957.

Trembly, represented by Parkersburg attorney George Cosenza, denied the allegations. He also filed a multi-million dollar defamation suit against his sister.

After Cosenza filed a motion asking that the charges be dismissed, Nibert heard two days of testimony in December and January. Calhoun prosecutor Matthew Minney was appointed to the case after Sergent asked to be removed. ...

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