Appeals Court Rules On Oceola Rape Case, Returns It To Trial Court
February 19, 2019
The Michigan Court of Appeals has vacated a portion of a trial court’s decision in a local rape case.
The appeals panel recently issued an opinion in the rape case against 25-year-old Justin Michael Bailey of Oceola Township. In November of 2014, Bailey is alleged to have raped a 17-year-old girl at a friend’s party after she became sick from drinking too much. He was charged with two counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct.
The Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office requested evidence be excluded 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. The Michigan Court of Appeals denied a motion to exclude the evidence in May of 2017, saying the reasons presented lacked sufficient merit.
Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt then filed an appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court, which ordered the court of appeals to make a decision. In their most recent opinion, released February 7th, the COA stated that the evidence of the second male DNA donor in the case does not fall within the scope of the rape-shield statute, but that the prosecutor should be allowed to file any appropriate motions or make any appropriate objections challenging the admission of the evidence.
However the COA did vacate the trial court’s decision that the defendant would be allowed to cross-examine witnesses and provide rebuttal witnesses regarding the results of the DNA sample. The case has been remanded back to Livingston County Circuit Court for further proceedings, where a final settlement conference is set for March 1st. (JK)