In December of 2010, Martin E. Court, who was 47 years old, was charged with six counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl. Court was a manager at a Flint facility for severely abused and neglected children between five and 17 years old, the Whaley Children's Center. Prosecutors claimed Court sexually assaulted the young teenage girl repeatedly; the girl lived at Whaley at the time.
On Thursday August 22, prosecutors in the case dismissed the charges against court after the alleged victim did not show up for trial. Court, who is now 49 years old, would potentially have faced life in prison if convicted of the charges. According to Jeffrey M. Day, Court's attorney, his client has maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal, and is happy the case against him was dismissed.
An investigation which began after Whaley officials notified the Department of Human Services and the prosecutor's office in 2010 revealed the alleged sexual assaults took place during the latter part of 2009 and early 2010. Kevin Roach, President and CEO at Whaley, said that Court resigned his position at the institution in June of 2010.
The criminal sexual conduct charges against Court were dismissed without prejudice, which means that the prosecutor's office could reissue the charges at a later time. Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said in a news article at Mlive.com that the case is under review. As of this date, the charges have not been reissued.
Michigan sexual assault defense lawyers know that this is highly unusual; it is likely that Court would have spent a substantial number of years or even life behind bars had he been convicted. Sex crimes, particularly those against children, are punished severely in the state of Michigan.
Time will tell if the charges are reissued against Court. If so, the defense will no doubt use the fact that the victim failed to show up for the first trial as part of their strategy.