By Danielle Salisbury | Danielle_Salisbury@mlive.com
on November 08, 2013 at 11:59 AM, updated November 08, 2013 at 1:30 PM
JACKSON, MI – A 28-year-old man said his wife suggested the couple introduce their 3-year-old daughter into their sex life.
“She said we should spice things up,” the man testified during his wife's preliminary examination Friday, Nov. 8, before Jackson County Circuit Judge R. Darryl Mazur
The couple was living in a room with one bed and a couch with a “fold out” mattress at the Avalon Hotel in Blackman Township. They were having sex and their daughter, now 4, got into their bed.
His wife held down the girl’s arms while he tried to penetrate the child, the man said.
The girl was crying and her mother was telling her to relax, he said.
They eventually moved the girl “off to the side” and the husband and wife “finished having sex,” he testified.
Mazur heard his statements and found there was probable cause to believe the woman, 36, participated in and perpetuated this and other sexual acts from October 2012 until May.
Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Walker moved to amend the allegations against her, and the woman now faces seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of first-degree child abuse. She originally was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Mazur agreed to alter the charges and sent the woman’s case to circuit court, where it will be handled by Judge John McBain.
He revoked the woman’s bond. Both she and her husband, married about five years, remain in the county jail.
Their names are being withheld because they share a last name with their daughter and the Citizen Patriot typically does not publish the names of victims in sexual assault cases.
Last month, the man pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony punishable by up to life in prison. He will serve at least 25 years because of the girl’s age and he could serve consecutive terms of 25 years or more for each count.
As part of a plea agreement, the prosecutor’s office is dismissing 10 other criminal sexual conduct counts and the man has to testify truthfully against his wife.
The woman’s lawyer, George Lyons, contends the man is not a credible witness. He said he plans to prove this.
When Lyons questioned him Friday, the man admitted he was not pleased because his wife “turned him in as a child rapist.” It was the woman who alerted the authorities to the sexual abuse, Lyons said.
Lyons said, in defending the woman, he intends to argue the man controlled his wife through drugs and physical abuse.
The man denied this.
When he and his wife sexually assaulted their daughter, he said he was only using alcohol.
The man described two other sexual events during which the pair involved their daughter. One was similar to the first.
On the third occasion, the man said the couple was again having sex. Their daughter had removed her diaper and he said his wife picked her up and placed her on her father while he was on his back.
He said the girl was again crying and asking “why?”
Assistant Prosecutor Steven Idema had to coax this testimony from the man, who at first said there were only two incidents involving his wife.
“I tried to forget the whole thing to be honest,” the man said before he was shown a copy of his statement to police, which helped refresh his memory.
The man said his wife also had watched, without stopping him, as he sexually assaulted their daughter. The girl was “saying, ‘No,’ over and over again.”
When asked how many times he abused his daughter, the man could not provide a number.
“You can’t even count the times,” Lyons said.
Lyons pointed out some discrepancies in the man’s statements.
“You’ve told so many stories you can’t keep them straight can you?” Lyons said.
The man said his recollection is accurate.
Blackman-Leoni Township public safety Detective Sgt. Christopher Boulter said the man’s credibility is bolstered by the fact he pleaded guilty to two counts of an offense that could put him in prison for the rest of his life.
Of course a defense lawyer would attack the believe-ability of a key witness, Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka said.
Jarzynka called the cases a “horrible series of incidents.”
“If you are 3 years old, you would expect your mom and dad to look out for your best interest," he said.
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But I have to say, by slightly changing the question, this may be an interesting aspect of the MM story.
Let me change the question to:
"Could a (sexual) bond between a (grown up/adult) couple be stronger than the drive/wish to protect their children?"
Reason, why I find this question intriguing is that I have come across a couple, where we lived in Germany, who stated exactly that.
They had two children, classmates of mine.
The mother quite openly admitted:
"If I had to choose between the children and my husband, I would choose him and let the children die. I could have more children with my husband but my children could never replace him."
Now apply this to our main subject.....
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By Sara Scott | firstname.lastname@example.org
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on November 15, 2013 at 12:50 PM, updated November 15, 2013 at 2:43 PM
Stories that inspire, such as the feature this week on Shelby Maldonado, who is making an awesome recovery following a vehicle accident on Dec. 21, 2012.
Stories that motivate, such as the announcement this week that former NFL coach and Jackson native, Tony Dungy, will help provide Internet access to families in need at the Middle School at Parkside.
Unfortunately, there are also stories that make us cringe, cry or question our faith in humanity.
Reporter Danielle Salisbury wrote about one of those situations last week.
A Jackson mother is accused of helping her husband have sex with their then-3-year-old daughter. He has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and agreed to testify against his wife.
He faces at least 25 years in prison. I, for one, hope he never gets out.
His wife faces seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of first-degree child abuse. Her case is still working its way through the court system.
It is a horrifying story, and many of our readers said it left them feeling nauseous.
Some readers questioned why we wrote about it all. Why, they asked, does the community need to read about this story?
I understand the question. It was difficult for me to read that story. It was difficult for Danielle to write it.
But we would not being doing our jobs if we decided unilaterally that some stories are too ugly to tell. Keeping it quiet doesn't make the crime any less real, or any less horrible.
Child sexual abuse is an epidemic in this country. Here are some numbers to think about:
1. About one in 10 children will be sexually assaulted before age 18.
2. About one in seven girls, and one in 20 boys will be sexually assaulted before that age.
3. An estimated 400,000 babies born this year will become victims of sexual assault.
Those statistics are drawn from a August 2013 study by advocacy and awareness group, Darkness to Light, End Child Sexual Abuse.
Sometimes, it's the ugliest stories that need sharing the most. It's our goal to do it with compassion, accuracy and fairness.
-- Sara Scott is the editor of the Jackson Citizen Patriot.
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