Nik Rajkovic /

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson is accused of tainting the jury pool in a 2022 human trafficking case, by making remarks on social media about the defendant.

"Defendant submits that his right to such fair and impartial trial cannot occur in Genesee County due to the extensive prejudicial pretrial publicity directly caused by the Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson," wrote attorney Jessica Mainprize-Hajek wrote in her request for a change of venue.

Sheriff Swanson posted a Facebook video describing Michael Barajas as a "monster," who had filed his teeth to sharp points.

"Barajas threatened that if she (victim) didn't do everything he told her to do, he would bite her neck and rip out her throat," Swanson said. "This guy, he's a monster. If you look at the teeth that are filed down and threats of ripping out a throat, I will say no more."

Sheriff Swanson disputed claims in the motion, according to, saying he uses the social media videos to reach a wider audience and to serve as calls to action.

A pretrial hearing for Barajas is scheduled March 5.