Leelanau County Man Convicted of Sexual Assault and Murdering Infant Daughter Sentenced to Life in Prison

In September of 2012, Steven Deuman Jr. was convicted of murdering his infant daughter by orally raping her, thus choking her to death. Now, Deuman will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gordon Quist to a mandatory life behind bars after being found guilty of murder and aggravated sexual abuse in the August 2011 death of Evelynne Deuman.

Deuman still maintains his innocence, even though his defense team requested either acquittal or a new trial, both of which were rejected by Judge Quist. Deuman says that he had gone outside to smoke a cigarette, and had left his nearly four-month-old daughter on a queen-size bed, placing blankets and pillows around her so that she would not fall from the bed. However, she did fall from the bed according to Deuman, landing on a used condom which she breathed in through her mouth, choking her.

Deuman and his family lived northwest of Traverse City on an Indian reservation. The baby’s mother, Natasha Maitland, told news reporters that she had destroyed all evidence that Deuman had ever been in her life, calling him a “coward and monster.” The American Indian reservation where Deuman and Maitland lived is held in trust by the federal government, therefore the incident was considered a federal crime.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Green called the crime “horrific and contemptible,” saying that Deuman left the infant on the floor to die and did nothing to save her life.

Ljubisa Jovan Dragovic, Oakland County’s chief medical examiner, said in his testimony that he could not support that the manner of death was homicide, and that the baby would have choked if she had been orally raped, but that her airway would not have been cut off, which was why he could not accept the prosecution’s theory. He was the only witness to testify on behalf of the defense.

Michigan sex crimes lawyers agree that if this criminal offense occurred the way that prosecutors claim, it is indeed heinous and a tragedy. However, innocent individuals are accused of sex related crimes they did not commit every day in our country, leaving them facing ruined lives and loss of their freedom.


If you have been arrested for or charged with any sex-related offense, contact a skilled Michigan sex crimes attorney at once. You must take action to protect your freedom, future, and reputation.

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