Former Lansing Pediatric Dentist Convicted of Sexual Assault of a Child

A former Lansing pediatric dentist, 65-year-old Dr. Wendell Racette, was convicted on August 24 on 15 counts of criminal sexual conduct for the sexual assault of a child who was a patient more than 10 years ago. Racette was found guilty of 10 counts of second degree CSC and 5 counts of first-degree CSC. He now faces up to life in prison.

Racette had an office located in Lansing at East Saginaw Street at the time the assaults occurred, according to news reports. Prosecutors alleged that the boy had been sexually assaulted several times by Racette between 1996 and 2000. The victim, who is now 22 years old, was between the ages of 5 and 10 when he was sexually assaulted.

The former dentist was put on trial for the charges in December of 2011, however it ended in a hung jury. Racette went before Judge William Collette at the Ingham County Circuit Court in that trial. News reports stated that it took the jury less than a day to reach the guilty verdict in the second trial.

Chris Bergstrom, Racette’s attorney, was surprised at the verdicts and said they were “just really disappointed.” Bergstrom said the defense team would talk with Racette about the options. He also said that he questioned the victim’s credibility, as he had a history of being untruthful.

Several other former patients testified regarding their experiences in Racette’s office. Two former female patients alleged that Racette had fondled them while they were teenage or younger. Another testified that Racette had told her, “If you ever do that again, I will rip your teeth out” after she had attempted to leave the room to get her mother.

Michigan criminal sexual conduct defense attorneys understand the seriousness of being convicted on charges of sexual assault against a child. However, there are frequently occasions on which an innocent individual is accused, and unfortunately many innocent people spend time behind bars.

If you have been arrested for a sex-related crime or even accused, consult with a Michigan sex crimes defense lawyer at Grabel & Associates right away for effective legal guidance and representation. It is important to a positive outcome that you seek legal counsel early on, so that your attorney can begin working on the best plan of action for your situation.

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