The state’s highest court says a lower court should decide whether DNA evidence pertaining to a local rape case can be brought before a jury.

In November of 2014, 23-year-old Justin Michael Bailey of Oceola Township is alleged to have raped a 17-year-old girl at a friend’s party after she became sick from drinking too much. Bailey was charged with two counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct - one of force or coercion and another of an incapacitated victim. The Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office requested that evidence be excluded from the trial that indicated DNA collected from the alleged victim was from two different males; Bailey, and an unidentified source. They maintained it violated the state’s rape shield law, which protects victim’s sexual history being used against them. But when Livingston County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hatty ruled the evidence could be introduced by Bailey’s defense, prosecutors appealed. In May the Michigan Court of Appeals denied the motion to exclude the evidence, saying the reasons presented lacked sufficient merit.

Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt then filed an appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court, which recently remanded the case back to the court of appeals, essentially ordering it to make a decision. No new dates have been set in the case. (JK)