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December 11, 2013

Mount Clemens man accused of sexually assaulting daughters

By Julie Snyder
C & G Staff Writer

MOUNT CLEMENS — A Mount Clemens man is representing himself in his trial on charges that he sexually molested his two young daughters.

The victims, now ages 9 and 12, testified against their father, 55, in Macomb County Circuit Court Judge James Biernat Jr.’s courtroom on Dec. 10. Both described instances of verbal, physical and sexual abuse by their father. The Journal is choosing not to name the suspect to protect the identities of the victims.

During questioning by Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Jean Cloud, the 9-year-old said her father digitally penetrated her while in his bed with him and during bath time. The father’s explanation as to why he slept in a bed in his daughters’ room was because of a back issue. The instances described by the victims occurred in 2010 and 2011.

Both also described verbal and physical abuse.

“He used to call us names,” said the 9-year-old, who was often tearful or hiding her face behind a large stuffed animal while on the stand. “And he used to pull my hair. It hurt.”

A third minor relative has also made claims against the suspect, but she did not testify on Tuesday.

The suspect is facing three counts of second-degree child abuse, two counts of first-degree sexual conduct and one count of second-degree sexual conduct. First-degree sexual conduct carries a sentence of up to life in prison. He has been locked up in the county jail since his arrest in 2012.

The 12-year-old victim testified on the second day of the trial that her father digitally penetrated her while he was naked in the bath with her and made her participate in oral sex in the bathroom.

The father maintains his innocence and says the girls have been encouraged to make the claims against him.

He was unable to question the girls, per the judge’s order, so they were cross-examined by his advisory attorney, Steven Freers.

The 9-year-old victim also explained how the suspect once had picked her up and threw her across the kitchen and into a “time-out corner” when she acted up.

“Is it possible daddy dragged you to the time-out corner and didn’t throw you?” asked Freers.

“No,” she replied. The girl’s mother was not present when the incident took place.

The trial continues this week and is expected to conclude on Friday, Dec. 13.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Julie Snyder at jsnyder@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1039.