GH man sentenced in sex case

A 66-year-old Grand Haven man will spend at least 25 years behind bars for sexually abusing an 8-year-old girl.
Becky Vargo
Jan 21, 2014

Theodore Charles Dyer will be 91 by the time he gets his first chance for parole, his attorney said during his client's sentencing in Ottawa County Circuit Court on Monday.

“That amounts to a sentence of life in prison without parole,” attorney Floyd Farmer said. “I believe that is cruel and unusual punishment.”

Judge Ed Post denied Farmer’s sentencing challenge.

“I believe (the child’s) youthfulness was exploited,” Post said.

Following a one-day trial on Dec. 12, the jury spent 10 minutes deliberating before declaring Dyer guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Dyer had befriended the girl’s family to the point that she and her siblings had what her mom described as an "open door policy" between their apartments.

The girl’s mom testified that she went to retrieve her child on a late-July night and found Dyer performing oral sex on the girl in one of the bedrooms of the man's apartment. The child, now 9, testified that this wasn't the first time something like that had happened.

The mother said her daughter has had nightmares since that night and continues to go to counseling.

“She’s in school, she’s doing all right, but she’s not the best,” her mother said after the sentencing.

The mother said she is happy with Dyer's sentence of 25-50 years in prison.

Dyer’s live-in girlfriend, who cried in the courtroom while waiting for Dyer to be sentenced, sat on a bench in the courthouse hallway with her head in her hands after the sentencing.

“It wasn’t true,” she said. “It was all lies.”

The girlfriend declined to comment further.

Based on the guidelines, Dyer could spend up to 50 years in prison if he doesn’t make parole. He will also be placed on a lifetime tether once he is released, the judge ordered.

Comments

bigdeal

perv get 3 free meals a day, free medical & dental for the rest of his life. justice? a short life would be justice for this one.

Barry Soetoro

....and a guaranteed job with the TSA when he is paroled.

MeanSmith

This guy should get his lil weenie cut off.

LessThanAmused

Well, it wasn't his weenie here that was the issue, but yeah, I get what you're saying....he should probably have a couple appendages shortened about 6 inches just to help him stay out of trouble. Not that he's ever gonna see the light of day again.

MeanSmith

Also, I would never let my child go into ANY persons house without my presence. The parent should also be holding herself accountable.

Former Grandhavenite

It's really hard to know where to set the boundaries as far as a kid interacting with other people. I've always had a problem with the whole concept of, "Don't talk to strangers!" because then, how does anyone ever become a non-stranger? This default state of animosity and lack of trust is how you have families living in the same neighborhood for years or decades and not being friendly with, or even knowing the names of their longtime neighbors. Sometimes you have to wonder if you had said 'Hi!' to someone if you would have met one of your best friends, but instead the two of you glared at each other uncomfortably and each wondered whether the other was a child molester.

At the same time, you have the horror stories like this. Apparently this guy seemed like a friend to the family, and only betrayed their trust after a long time of knowing them. I don't know what the answer is, but I'm sure that it ISN'T to see everyone else as an enemy or criminal. It also doesn't make sense to blindly trust everyone you meet who seems nice, but it sounds like the mother had known this guy for awhile. I can't put too much blame on her in this case. For every situation like this, there are probably hundreds or thousands of friendly neighbors who genuinely are good people and actually do help out the neighborhood kids.

The single worst thing about this case (there are many) is that this girl is probably going to have trouble ever trusting people that she meets in the future. Things like what this guy did are truly poisonous for society, trust, and human relationships in general.

GHJames

The jury took 10 minutes to convict and the girlfriend still says "It's all lies." Either she was a party to it somehow or she is delusional. I hope it is the latter.

fawne

Why would a parent have an 'open door' policy with the neighbor concerning her children who are so young? Why would a parent go to pick up her kid 'late at night' from the neighbors house? I know I for one would not have done either of those things and my kids are not allowed at old men's houses late at night. Just sayin

GHJames

Your comment threw me for a second. The article says a late July night meaning the later part of July not late at night. Easy mistake, definitely made me read it again. LoL

Localanon

I lived in the apartment complex where this happened (though in a different building). I met this man briefly, once, and I must say he gave me a SERIOUSLY creepy vibe. Not to mention he liked to hang out on his balcony without any pants on. ALL. THE. TIME. Oh, and walk around his apartment, naked, with the lights on, and blinds open. I learned early on not to look out my window at night, just to be safe. Don't know how anyone could have not sensed the super creepiness about this guy, or why anyone would think it was okay for a grown man to want to hang out with an 8 year old girl in the first place.

MeanSmith

Exactly. You can just tell by looking at this guy. This woman let her little girl in his house without her supervision. The woman must have been living her life with blinders on.

GHJames

I'm sure the mom feels plenty guilty about having trusted this neighbor. Before throwing her to the dogs though, this guy was a retired police chief and I'm sure it seemed like a blessing for a single working mom to have a trustworthy retired couple right next door willing to watch the kids. This predator found a weakness and exploited it so he could have access to that child.

MeanSmith

That is the LAST person I would trust, a retired police chief.

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