On June 4 of this year, 44-year-old Kevin Eugene Dengel was charged in connection with the inappropriate touching of two young teens at the Sherwood Global Studies Academy where he worked as a paraprofessional.
The incidents, which according to news articles at Mlive.com occurred between September of 2012 and mid-April of this year, left Dengel facing criminal charges including three counts each of second- and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Dengel was arraigned on Thursday June 6 on the charges and posted 10% of a $20,000 bond when he was released from jail the following Monday.
Since that time, Dengel was scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing on Monday July 1 to determine if there is enough evidence in the case to send him to felony court. Dengel allegedly inappropriately touched two students who were 13 years old; one of the girls said that the defendant touched her butt with his hand on two separate occasions. The other girl alleges that Dengel purposely touched her breasts with his arm as he brushed past her.
Grand Rapids District Court Judge David Buter was scheduled to reside over Monday’s preliminary exam which would determine if the evidence obtained by the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office is sufficient to proceed to circuit court, although Dengel could have decided to waive the exam.
Dengel was placed on administrative leave from the school after the allegations came to light following a press release. Parents of the girls reportedly came to school officials regarding the allegations against Dengel. If the case proceeds forward and he is convicted, he may face up to 15 years in prison, the maximum penalty for second-degree CSC.
As all Michigan sex crime defense attorneys know, cases such as this one are often difficult to prove or disprove. When alleged inappropriate touching is involved but physical evidence lacking, it is often a case of “he said, she said.” This can mean that individuals who are innocent end up in prison.
If you have been accused of inappropriate touching or any offense considered a sex crime, it is vital that you take action immediately to protect your legal rights, freedom, and future. Consult with a capable and aggressive Michigan sex crime lawyer now.