On Monday March 31, Jackson County District Judge Michael Klaeren found that there was probable cause to send the case of a 73-year-old Jackson man accused of sexually abusing three young girls to circuit court. Dwight Edward Rupert has been charged with four counts each of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct in a case involving three girls he once babysat, according to news reports at Mlive.com.
The alleged victims who are now ages 7, 8, and 9, testified on Monday in a courtroom which was closed to the public. The three girls are sisters according to the report, two of them biological sisters and one a stepsister. The girls were allegedly sexually abused between June of 2011 and May of 2013. Rupert is accused of touching the girls in a sexual manner during this time, and committing acts that involve penetration with two of the victims.
Rupert was considered “family,” according to the 9-year-old girl’s mother, who said that the girl’s grandmother and Rupert’s wife are close friends. She testified that she contacted authorities last summer after she and her husband were told bout the sexual abuse by the girls.
If convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Rupert could spend the rest of his life in prison.
First-degree CSC is the most serious of all sex crimes, and involves penetration. Individuals who are found guilty of this offense may be sentenced to a maximum prison term of life in prison.
Criminal cases involving young children are extremely delicate. While there is no doubt that children are sexually abused every day in our country, there are also many instances in which innocent individuals are falsely accused of these heinous crimes. Children are easily influenced, and often coerced by adults to make up stories that aren’t true. Hopefully the truth will win out in this case.