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Decatur man convicted of raping, threatening to kill ex-girlfriend
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Decatur man convicted of raping, threatening to kill ex-girlfriend

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DECATUR — A jury took an hour and 16 minutes to convict Blake A. Lunardi of raping and terrorizing his ex-girlfriend while keeping her a prisoner in her own home.

The 25-year-old Decatur man was found guilty of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, and single counts of aggravated battery and aggravated unlawful restraint. The Macon County Circuit Court jury also convicted him of domestic battery and criminal damage.

The three-day trial began Monday and the jury retired to consider the case at 11:13 a.m. Wednesday. They were back in court with their verdicts at 12:29 p.m. Judge Thomas Griffith scheduled a hearing for post trial motions and sentencing Feb. 3. Lunardi was taken into the custody of the Macon County Jail after Assistant State’s Attorney Kate Kurtz asked Griffith to revoke Lunardi’s bond.

During the trial, the court had heard from the victim, a 24-year-old nurse, who struggled to control her breathing and fight back sobs as she described her rape ordeal at the hands of Lunardi. She told the jurors she and Lunardi had been involved in a long off-and-on relationship that she had ended in June 2018.

She told the court that Lunardi had shown up on her doorstep around 3:51 a.m. on Aug. 5, 2018, begging to talk to her. She had reluctantly let him in and said he soon became enraged and violent, smashing her property and demanding to know if she was seeing someone else.

He threatened her with a kitchen knife, hit her and ripped off her clothes, she said, and attempted to force himself on her as she tried to fight him off before finally running out of the strength to resist him any longer.

“He told me ‘You are going to be with me, you are going to get on the bed, or I’m going to slit your throat and we’re both going to die tonight,’” the woman said.

Lunardi was defended by attorney Todd Ringel who questioned the victim about her story and highlighted several inconsistencies in her version of events in court and what she told police at the time of the incident.


Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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