Our client was crying, his family was crying…even defense attorney Chris Kessel almost shed a tear when the jury finished reading their verdict; not guilty on charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct – Second Degree. The case had been awaiting trial for over 10 months, but it had been haunting our client for almost 10 years…
In 2009 our client was approached by the Warren police department regarding an allegation made by his ex-girlfriend’s daughter, that he had inappropriately touched her. The client adamantly denied that anything had happened and eventually the case was dropped. Then, in 2017, the girl – now 14 – again began telling people that our client had molested her when she was 5. This time the claims led to charges being filed against our client. He was arrested and placed on a $200,000 bond. Thankfully his finance’ was able to contact Michigan defense attorney Chris Kessel and Nessel and Kessel Law.
At the preliminary exam at the 37th district court, the prosecutor had the girl go into great detail about the alleged touching. However, at the same hearing, Chris Kessel was able to get the girl to admit that she couldn’t remember any of the details of the event. Then, in what would prove the most meaningful exchange in the case, the following questions and answers were placed on the record:
Q: Isn’t it true that you didn’t have any physical contact with my client?
Q: And isn’t it true he never touched you at all?
Despite this testimony at the preliminary exam, the case was still bound over for trial. 8 months later the trial commenced. For 3 days a jury heard testimony about a girl who was emotionally damaged, depressed, and still effected because of what happened to her. However, at the same time, Chris Kessel used the same witnesses to show that the girl had repeatedly changed her story, told the story when it would get her out of trouble, and forced her to confront her prior testimony that our client had never actually touched her at all.
The jury deliberated for a entire 25minutes before returning their verdict of “not guilty.”
Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) cases are especially sensitive because conviction will truly be life changing. Being found guilty for sex offenses in Michigan will haunt and follow a defendant for the rest of their lives. This is an area of the law where false allegations, misrepresentations, and witness manipulation will often times affect the results of a case, especially with sexual crimes involving minors. Not only do these cases create the potential for serious jail and prison time, they also carry the burden of registering as a sex offender. As these cases are often very fact driven, a successful defense to sex offenses requires a complete cross examination and a through analysis of the physical evidence performed by experienced sex crime lawyers. Only knowledgeable defense attorneys will have the expertise to get to the bottom of these allegations, preventing charges of sex crimes from affecting a defendant’s entire life.