A local judge has thrown out a case against a driving instructor who allegedly raped one of his students at his home in Hartland Township.

Multiple criminal sexual conduct charges were filed against 62-year-old Ningan Hu as a result of the May 2016 incident that involved a 25-year-old female college student said to be incapacitated prior to and during the assault. The victim is a Chinese citizen who was attending school in Windsor, Ontario at that time.

Because the victim is not an American citizen, she needed a special visa to cross the border so she could testify against Hu. Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt says his office was attempting to obtain the visa through federal authorities and asked for an adjournment in the case at a final settlement conference in 44th Circuit Court Friday. But the request to adjourn was denied by Judge Michael P. Hatty. Vailliencourt says because they were unable to proceed to trial without the victim, Judge Hatty dismissed the case.

Vailliencourt tells WHMI that the Michigan Constitution requires that crime victims be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect and it was wrong of Judge Hatty to deny the victim her day in court. He said his office will be pursuing the appropriate remedies to allow her to appear and testify. Judge Hatty dismissed the case without prejudice, which will allow charges to be re-filed.

Police were dispatched to a gas station in Hartland Township on May 21st, 2016, where they found the victim who claimed Hu had plied her with alcohol until she was drunk and then sexually assaulted her at his home. She told police Hu was her driving instructor and that they had driven across the border into the United States so she could gain driving experience. Court records list a Windsor address for Hu, however the residence where the alleged assault reportedly occurred was said to be his home.

Following Friday’s hearing and case dismissal, Hu was remanded to the county jail and given immediate release. (DK)