Nearly a year after the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in a sexual assault case involving a former Howell business owner, a date has been set for a local hearing.

53-year-old David Price III, former owner of the now-closed Hog Wild BBQ and Catering in Howell, was charged in 2016 with multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct involving two separate cases. The case became bogged down, however, after a ruling to exclude evidence in his case was challenged by the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office. That challenge went to the Michigan Court of Appeals, which ruled last October that Livingston County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hatty did not engage in the proper legal analysis when deciding the motion to exclude the prior acts because he had failed to determine if they were “relevant to the existence of a scheme or plan” related to Price’s alleged intent to use his position as employer to perpetuate a sexual assault while controlling the surroundings to gain “the element of surprise.”

The case was then remanded back to Hatty to decide the motion based on the proper legal standard. But only recently was a court date finally set in the case, which will go before Judge Hatty September 7th for a final settlement conference.

Price was charged after two 20-year-old women alleged he assaulted them soon after they started work at the restaurant. The first alleged assault occurred in November 2014, with the second in August of 2015. Authorities say DNA evidence gathered after the first assault matches Price. He claims the sex in both instances was consensual. (JK)