Man Accused of 1981 Cutlerville Rape to Get No Plea Deal from Prosecutors

In November of 2012 we discussed a situation involving 54-year-old Joseph Blackmer, a man who has been imprisoned in Indiana since 1982 for the alleged rape of a woman in Elkhart County. On Monday, July 22, Blackmer’s hopes of a plea deal from prosecutors were dashed when the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office offered no plea agreement. When convicted, Blackmer was sentenced to 90 years in prison for raping a 23-year-old woman in her Cutlerville mobile home. 1037190_dna_fingerprint_2.jpg

Blackmer, a resident of Michigan, allegedly admitted to Indiana detectives upon his conviction that he had raped a woman in Grand Rapids in 1981. Kent County Sheriff’s Department investigators began investigating the alleged rape, and found that a woman had reported a man coming to her door in search of directions; he then allegedly attacked the 23-year-old woman and sexually assaulted her. DNA was then taken from the woman, however a lack of leads or suspects in the case proved to be a dead end. It was 29 years later when a match was discovered in the DNA sample linking Blackmer to the rape of the Grand Rapids woman. He was extradited from Indiana after charges were filed in the alleged rape late last year.

Freeman Haehnel, Blackmer’s lawyer, argued that the statute of limitations in place in 1981 should mean that his client is not subject to prosecution for the alleged Michigan rape. Judge Mark Trusock rejected the argument due to the fact that the law in regards to the statute of limitations on first-degree CSC prosecutions changed more than 10 years ago.

Michigan sex crime attorneys understand that while Blackmer has spent more than 30 years in prison, serving out 90 years essentially means that he will be behind bars for the remainder of his life.


Individuals who have been accused of any sex-related offense must take action immediately in order to have the best chance of protecting your freedom and legal rights. Discuss your case with a highly experienced and aggressive Michigan sex crime lawyer right away, so that work can begin at once in an effort to obtain positive results.

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