Woods sexual assault, breaking and entering trial begins

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 13, 2018

 Gerald Day

Gerald Day

GROSSE POINTE WOODS/DETROIT — Testimony in a sexual assault case that occured in Grosse Pointe Woods in April 2017 was expected to begin March 14.

The trial in the case against Detroit resident Gerald Day, 28, began with jury selection March 12 at the 3rd Circuit Court located inside the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit. Judge Kevin Cox has been assigned to the case.

On June 7, 2017, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged Day with the following crimes: first-degree home invasion; two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct during a felony and/or with a weapon; one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct during a felony and/or with a weapon; assault with intent to commit armed robbery; felon in possession of a weapon; and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. An investigation by the Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Department led to the charges.

Day is accused of breaking into the home of a 37-year-old woman in Grosse Pointe Woods on April 15, 2017, assaulting her at gunpoint and inquiring where her personal possessions were located. According to the Public Safety Department, it is alleged that Day sexually assaulted the woman while holding a handgun to her head. After the assault, police said, he left her home on foot. At the time the crime occurred, evidence was collected and tested, which led to the charges.

According to testimony May 18, 2017, in Grosse Pointe Woods Municipal Court during Day’s preliminary examination on the gun charges, detectives — who had a search warrant — found a .25-caliber automatic pistol at Day’s residence in his bedroom when investigating the sexual assault case. During the preliminary exam, it was reported that Day was not home at the time of the search, but a relative who lives at the address was home and let police inside.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections website, Day served a four-year sentence from September 2010 to November 2014 for one count of armed robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Those convicted of felonies in Michigan lose the right to possess firearms.

In addition to the Woods case, Day faces several charges for crimes on April 23, 2017, in Grosse Pointe Farms, including home invasion in the first degree and unlawful imprisonment, and in Detroit on Dec. 20, 2016, including home invasion in the first degree, unlawful imprisonment and interfering with a crime report.

During a final conference in 3rd Circuit Court Feb. 5, Day was given the opportunity to take a plea deal on the charges, but he declined and opted for a trial instead. The trial began Monday with jury selection.

Once a jury of 12 members and two alternates was chosen, Cox reminded them that they were not to have any contact with witnesses, attorneys, family members or significant others about the case as the trial continued. He also told them not to speak to each other about the case “until the trial is over and you are in the jury room.”

According to defense attorney Christine Grand, the prosecutors have a three-page list of witnesses. The trial is expected to continue until March 19 or 20. Witnesses expected to testify have been sequestered, which means they cannot sit inside the courtroom as the trial continues.

Day’s mother was in the courtroom Monday, Wayne County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Danielle Bennetts told the court, adding that Day’s mother is not expected to be called as a witness.