Oral arguments are set this week in the case against a driving instructor accused of raping one of his students in Hartland Township.

Rape charges were dismissed in 2017 against 63-year-old Ningan Hu by Livingston County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hatty after the prosecution was unable to arrange for the alleged victim to testify. The female college student is a Chinese citizen who was attending school in Windsor, Ontario at that time of the 2016 incident. Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt says his office was attempting to obtain a special visa for her to return to the U.S. and testify when Judge Hatty refused to grant an adjournment and dismissed the case. Hatty had also previously tossed out Hu’s statement to police after he ruled that because Hu speaks Mandarin Chinese, he did not properly understand his rights after he was arrested. An appeal of the case’s dismissal was filed with the Michigan Court of Appeals, which after several procedural motions; finally set oral arguments for this Wednesday, March 6th in Lansing.

The rape charges were filed after police were dispatched to a gas station in Hartland Township on May 21st, 2016, where they found the 25-year-old woman 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 Hartland residence where the alleged assault reportedly occurred was also said to be his home. Hu’s whereabouts are uncertain, although it’s believed he has returned to Canada. He is not required to attend Wednesday’s hearing. (JK)