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Mount Clemens man convicted of sexual molestation

December 23, 2013

MOUNT CLEMENS — A Mount Clemens man was convicted by a jury Dec. 19 on six counts, which include first-degree criminal sexual conduct, second-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of second-degree child abuse.

A jury deliberated for nearly five hours before convicting the 55-year-old of sexually and physically abusing his two young daughters.

The two-week trial was held in Judge James Biernat Jr.’s courtroom.

During that time, the defendant, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of the two victims, now 9 and 12, represented himself with aid from his advisory attorney Steven Freers.

The defendant questioned several witnesses, including his two adult sons, and detectives involved in the investigation. Biernat would not allow him to question the two young victims, so Freers took over cross examination.

The instances described by the victims occurred in 2010 and 2011.

During questioning by Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Jean Cloud, the 9-year-old said the defendant digitally penetrated her while in his bed with him — the defendant’s explanation as to why he slept in a bed in his daughters’ room was because of a back issue.

The victim and her 12-year-old sister also testified that the defendant digitally penetrated them in separate instances while in the bath tub, and the older victim testified that the defendant forced her to engage in oral sex. He also rubbed each girl too vigorously, and the girls each described instances of the defendant pulling their hair, and the younger victim said he once threw her across the room.

One of the defendant’s sons described him as arrogant and physically abusive.

The defendant, a former nurse, maintained his innocence of the accusations, and said family members, as well as detectives, forced the girls into making the claims against him.

He was convicted of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct three counts of second-degree child abuse.

The defendant will be sentenced in Biernat’s courtroom on Feb. 4. The first-degree sexual conduct charges are punishable by up to life in prison.

About the author

Staff Writer Julie Snyder covers Harrison Township, Mount Clemens, Macomb County, L’Anse Creuse Public Schools, and Mount Clemens Community Schools for the Journal. She has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2003, and attended the University of Toledo with degrees in journalism and photography. Julie has received several awards for her work in Arizona and Washington, including AP awards in Arizona for breaking news reporting and feature writing.

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