Indiana Inmate to Be Charged in 1981 Michigan Sexual Assault Case

Joseph Blackmer, a 54-year-old inmate currently incarcerated in Indiana for a sexual assault case from 1982 in that state, is now awaiting extradition to Michigan where he will face similar charges for a sexual assault which allegedly occurred in Byron Township in 1981. The cold case was reviewed by the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office; a warrant for first-degree criminal sexual conduct was then authorized.

In December of 1981, a woman who was at her residence in the 7100 block of Houndstooth Street SW answered her door to an unknown male, who at the time was approximately 18 to 19 years old. News reports state the man was asking for directions when he pushed his way inside and held a gun to the alleged victim’s head. Police say that the man who they believe to be Blackmer then ordered the woman into her bedroom, where he proceeded to sexually assault her. The victim called 911 after the man fled her home; she was examined for sexual assault at a local hospital.

The evidence was retained, however the case went cold and was closed in March of 1982. Recently, several cold cases involving criminal sexual conduct were reviewed by a Kent County detective to determine if any evidence existed which could be submitted for DNA testing. A DNA profile was obtained by Michigan State Police investigators on this particular case, and was subsequently entered into CODIS (Combined DNA Index System). Upon a CODIS match to Blackmer, investigators were notified that the suspect was currently incarcerated in an Indiana prison.

According to news reports, Blackmer has confessed to the 1981 crime in Michigan; the alleged victim has been notified of the recent developments, however investigators say she no longer lives in West Michigan. Upon his extradition, Blackmer will face the court process in Michigan.

Michigan sex offender defense lawyers know the severe penalties individuals who are convicted of first-degree CSC face. While there are certainly individuals who commit unthinkable crimes, there are also those who find themselves behind bars for crimes they did not commit.


Penalties in Michigan for all types of sex offenses are extremely harsh; if you have been arrested for sexual assault, rape or any sex-related offense, it is crucial that you speak with an aggressive Michigan sex crime attorney who will provide you with a vigorous, effective defense.