In August, a jury was deadlocked in the trial of two men who allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted a woman. Gary W. Sowa Jr. and Steven L. Jackson are accused of drugging a woman at the Dixie Motor Speedway in 2011 before kidnapping and sexually assaulting her. Sowa and Jackson have remained in jail since that time.
According to a news article at Mlive.com, the two men may remain in jail even longer as prosecutors in the case have decided to “streamline” it and are changing their strategy. Sowa, 38, and Jackson, 41, were scheduled to go on trial before Saginaw County Chief Circuit Judge Fred L. Borchard on February 11, however the trial has been postponed after prosecutors decided to dismiss 11 of the felony charges against the defendants.
Now, prosecutors intend to charge Sowa and Jackson with a single count of kidnapping and three counts of first-degree criminal conduct each, according to Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Barnes. Barnes said that prosecutors are simplifying the case for the jury this time around, as many jurors claimed after deliberating following the first trial that some of the charges were “confusing.”
The alleged victim was 40 at the time of the first trial. At issue is whether the sex between the woman and the two defendants was consensual. Barnes contends that the victim was raped after having been drugged by Sowa and Jackson, possibly with GHB. The defendants’ attorneys maintain that the alleged victim got drunk, had sex with the men, then regretted her decision.
Jackson and Sowa were initially charged with kidnapping, six counts each of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, unlawful imprisonment, and conspiring to commit each of the criminal offenses.
Even though several charges will be dismissed by prosecutors, Jackson and Sowa will face extremely harsh punishment if convicted. Michigan sex crime defense attorneys know the seriousness of being charged with first-degree CSC, and the implications of a conviction. The criminal penalties for both kidnapping and first-degree CSC include a maximum term of life in prison.
Anyone who is accused of rape or any crime which is sexual in nature must contact a highly experienced defense lawyer immediately. It is vital that work begins to protect your legal rights and freedom.