A Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that new testimony may be heard in the sexual assault case of Lorinda Swain. Swain is seeking a new trial on sexual assault charges after being convicted by a jury in 2002 of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving her son. Criminal sexual conduct is a generic term referring to a group of sexual crimes including rape, sexual assault, statutory rape and child molestation. Each degree of criminal sexual conduct offense carries with it different penalties, with first degree being the most serious.
Since her conviction in 2002, Swain has sought to overturn her conviction after discovering new evidence not raised at trial. This past week, a three-judge panel found that lawyers from the University of Michigan’s Innocence Clinic should be allowed to present this additional evidence to Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge Conrad Sindt.
Sex crimes charges are serious, and a conviction for criminal sexual conduct can have a significant impact on your future and your freedom. If you have been charged with a Michigan sex crime, it is important to speak with an aggressive Michigan sex crimes defense attorney immediately to begin preparing your defense. Where you have been convicted of a sex crime, a Michigan sex crimes appeals attorney can determine whether appealable issues exists and review the trial record to ensure your side of the case was fully and effectively presented before the jury and weaknesses properly exposed.
Here, several issues were raised on appeal – including the discovery of new, exculpatory evidence.
This case initially arose out of allegations that Swain, of Burlington, Michigan, had oral sex with her adopted son in the mid-1990s. She was subsequently sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison. However, the boy later withdrew his allegations of sexual abuse. In 2009, Judge Sindt determined Swain was entitled to a new trial after new evidence surfaced from a neighbor and bus driver supporting defense arguments that the abuse did not occur. The Court of Appeals overturned this decision. Lawyers from the Innocence Project then presented additional arguments about even more testimony that should be heard, including information from Swain’s former boyfriend and recantations from the alleged victim’s younger brother.
This week, the Court of Appeals unanimously agreed that Swain was entitled to a hearing before Sindt.
With the recent ruling, hopefully Swain will now be able to present all evidence available and receive justice in her case.
If you have been charged or convicted of a Michigan sex crime, it is critical to contact an experience Michigan sex crimes attorney to provide you the best opportunity to protect your future and fight fro your freedom. For more information, contact the dedicated Michigan sex crime law firm of Grabel & Associates, P.C. for an immediate consultation.