Rape Charges Against Grand Rapids Firefighter Dismissed

In October of 2012, a Pennsylvania woman filed a complaint against Lt. Lee Finlayson of the Grand Rapids Fire Department, claiming that Finlayson, whom the woman had known for more than 30 years, forced her to have sex with him. News reports at the Examiner state that the woman and Finlayson were involved in a relationship, and were laying in bed discussing that relationship on September 22 of 2012 when the alleged incident took place. Finlayson was charged with rape in October of last year; those charges have now been dropped.

Recently, new details in the case reveal that the alleged victim may have “staged” the rape. The woman originally accused Finlayson of admitting that he committed the rape, and apologizing for it on the internet. Police are now investigating the woman, and suspect that she may have hacked the firefighter’s email and social media accounts in order to create the messages herself, making it appear that Finlayson had admitted to the crime and apologized. Stephen Colafella, Finlayson’s attorney, indicated that there is evidence to support the alleged victim staged the rape, which reportedly took place in Pennsylvania, in the Brighton Township home where she lived.

The charges against Finlayson have now been dropped, but his attorney worries how the allegations may affect his reputation. Lt. Finlayson has been a Grand Rapids firefighter for more than 15 years, and in 2011 was nominated as Firefighter of the Year.

Michigan sexual assault attorneys know that all too often, innocent people are accused of and even convicted of crimes they did not commit. The criminal penalties for rape, sexual assault, and other sex offenses are extremely severe in the state of Michigan. Not only that, individuals’ reputations may be ruined for a lifetime. Penalties for various sex crimes include jail/prison time, fines, and perhaps worst of all the requirement to register as a sex offender, which impacts many areas of an individual’s life forever including where that person may work or live.


If you have been arrested or are under investigation for a sex-related offense, consult with a capable and aggressive Michigan sex crimes lawyer immediately. You must have competent legal counsel in order to obtain a positive outcome.

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