On Wednesday, August 13, an Emmett Township police officer who was not identified was arrested by Michigan State Police on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a minor, according to news articles at Mlive.com.
Two separate incidents allegedly took place at the officer’s home while he was not on duty, according to a police news release. He has been suspended with pay while the investigation continues.
It was announced the following day that a special prosecutor is being sought by Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert’s office to review the case. State police investigators submitted the case to the prosecutor’s office for review on Thursday; Gilbert said that his office wants to request counsel from outside the county in order to “avoid the appearance of any impropriety.” The prosecutor who is brought in will then determine if charges should be filed against the officer.
While Michigan State Police and Gilbert declined to identify the officer, other media outlets have identified the alleged offender as Troy Estree, a 45-year-old Emmett Township resident whose wife is on staff with the Battle Creek Police Department as a detective.
First-degree CSC is an extremely serious charge, particularly when the crime involves a minor. In Michigan, anyone convicted of this offense, which involves penetration, may face a maximum term of life in prison. When the victim is younger than 13 years of age, the mandatory minimum prison term is 25 years. News reports in this cases do not reveal the age of the victim, only that she was a teenager.
As all Michigan sex crime lawyers know, these types of cases can be tough. Teenagers are often ready to explore areas such as sex, drugs, and alcohol. While this does not justify any adult taking advantage of a teen sexually, teens are also apt to make accusations regarding individuals in positions of authority. Proving or disproving allegations of sexual assault can be extremely difficult without solid, undisputable evidence.