Long time Park City attorney charged with felony rape
Defense says the case against Joseph Wrona is ‘unjustified’
A long time Park City attorney is facing a criminal charge after the Summit County Attorney’s Office alleges he raped his biological daughter earlier this year.
Joseph E. Wrona, 59, is charged with rape, a first-degree felony, stemming from an incident on March 20, prosecutors said. The charge was filed in the 3rd District Court at the Summit County Justice Center on Tuesday.
Gregory Skordas, a defense attorney representing Wrona, said they were surprised when the charges were filed. He said his client has been aware of the allegations for several months and has been cooperating with the Park City Police Department as well as Summit County prosecutors.
“They asked us for a statement, which we provided. They asked us for a DNA sample, which we provided. And we’ve offered to give them more information, but they just filed the charges for some reason,” Skordas said.
According to a charging document, around 8 a.m., Wrona entered the woman’s residence. He was upset with her about something that occurred a few days prior.
The woman alleges Wrona began insulting and berating her. According to court documents, he called her “a trash human being” and other disparaging remarks. Around 10 a.m., he allegedly left the residence.
Prosecutors say he returned 20 minutes later and told the woman that he wanted to talk to her. According to court documents, Wrona was still upset when she appeared before him. He allegedly told her he was going to give her another chance but wanted to “humiliate her and make her feel the way she had made him feel,” charging documents said.
Wrona is accused of yelling at the woman while he raped her, according to court documents. Afterward, Wrona allegedly threw the woman’s phone at her and told her to send a text message.
One of the woman’s friends received the message and contacted the Police Department to request a welfare check, which was done later that day.
Police collected a sample of Wrona’s DNA, which was compared to swabs collected from the woman at the hospital, according to court documents. Prosecutors said the DNA profile matched.
Skordas said he doesn’t have an explanation for the matching results and his client willingly provided the DNA sample to law enforcement. Wrona’s first court appearance is scheduled July 11 and Skordas said they’ll address the charges then.
“I don’t think that they are justified based on the facts as we know them, but the state did its job and filed what they thought was appropriate, but we certainly disagree,” he said.
If convicted, Wrona could face five years to life in prison.
Wrona said in May he had been retiring from practicing law over the past year.
This story was updated to reflect the relationship between Wrona and the woman he’s accused of raping.
There are around 25,400 registered voters in the county yet just about 7,800, or 30%, cast a ballot as of the latest count on Wednesday afternoon. It’s expected to be the lowest turnout Summit County has had in at least seven years, according to general election results dating back to 2016.
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