In July of 2012, 69-year-old Thomas Traicoff of Waterford, owner of the Pete’s Coney Island restaurant located at 4083 S. Baldwin Road in Orion Township, pleaded not guilty in connection with a charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct against a former waitress at the restaurant.
The alleged victim, who was 18 years old at the time, claimed that Traicoff made lewd remarks and touched her in an inappropriate manner on several occasions. On Friday, June 7 Traicoff pleaded no contest to the charge and is scheduled for sentencing before Oakland County Circuit Judge Rae Lee Chabot on July 23. He has requested a non-public listing on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry, according to a news article at the Oakland Press.
Traicoff’s accuser testified at a preliminary exam in August that as she was washing dishes at the restaurant, Traicoff put his finger in the back of her pants. She also said that he made attempts to kiss her, telling her not to tell anyone it ever happened, and that he gave her a hug which she described as “weird” when she came into the restaurant in May of 2012 to get her paycheck.
James Elliot, the victim’s attorney, said in the news article that, “The only purpose for a no contest plea is so they can attempt to avoid any civil liability without admitting criminal liability on the record.”
Traicoff allegedly committed other similar crimes according to a court filing made in February by the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office, which claims that Traicoff made lewd comments to two other employees and stuck his tongue in their ears.
Even though fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct is considered a high misdemeanor, the penalties can still be quite severe. Individuals who are convicted may face a $500 fine along with up to two years in prison and mandatory testing for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. In cases such as this, sometimes the worst thing of all is the stigma of being labeled a sex offender, and the impact it will have on a person’s reputation and/or career.
If you have been accused of any sex-related crime, do not wait before contacting an aggressive and highly-skilled Michigan sex crime defense attorney.