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State Briefs

By the Associated Press • Oct 12, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Man sentenced after 2 rape convictions in Muskegon County

MUSKEGON (AP) — A West Michigan man has been sentenced to 24-51 years in prison for drugging and raping two women.

Larry Stiff, 32, learned his sentence Tuesday after a Muskegon County jury last month convicted him of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving incapacitated victims. He received the sentence for each of the counts and will serve the sentences at the same time.

Four women testified their drinks were drugged before they were sexually assaulted, the Muskegon Chronicle reported. Two others said they were drugged but managed to escape being assaulted.

A co-defendant, 35-year-old Joshua Humphrey, was sentenced in June to 28-51 years in prison.

Michigan village to end police contract after chief's home raided

OAKLEY (AP) — A village in central Michigan has decided to not renew its contracts with its police department after federal agents raided the chief's home.

Trustees in Oakley voted unanimously Tuesday not to renew contracts for the part-time, six-person department. The current contracts expire Nov. 8.

The decision came after Oakley Police Chief Robert Reznick's home was raided last week by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

ATF officials have declined to provide details, citing an ongoing investigation. The chief hasn't been arrested or charged.

"If the feds are concerned about him, shouldn't the Village of Oakley also be?" asked Francis Koski, a former trustee.

Reznick's leadership was also criticized after residents discovered wealthy individuals and celebrities could join his police force as reserve officers. Some of those reservists helped Oakley pay insurance bills by making donations to the department.

Police reports show the department also worked less than 14 hours last month, took zero service calls and conducted zero traffic stops.

Custody case judge unaware father was sex offender, court says

DETROIT (AP) — A court spokesman said a Michigan judge wasn't aware of a sex offender's criminal background when he granted the man joint legal custody of a child born to a woman who said the man raped her when she was 12.

Michigan Supreme Court spokesman John Nevin told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Sanilac County Judge Gregory Ross didn't know Christopher Mirasolo, 27, had two criminal sexual conduct convictions, including one concerning the woman. Nevin said the judge put the order on hold Tuesday after learning of Mirasolo's criminal past.

The case started when the 21-year-old mother sought state assistance for her 8-year-old son.

Ross issued an order last month granting the woman sole physical custody and Mirasolo joint legal custody after DNA tests showed he was the child's biological father. Mirasolo's lawyer said Mirasolo never sought the order.

Girl placed in juvenile program after UP boy's suicide

MARQUETTE (AP) — Prosecutors said a girl charged after a social media prank led an 11-year-old Michigan boy to take his own life has been placed in a juvenile court program.

Marquette County Prosecutor Matt Wiese said Wednesday that the placement came after a hearing late last week. He said the girl was charged with malicious use of telecommunications services for making a false death report and using a computer to commit a misdemeanor.

Details about the program weren't released.

In March, Tysen Benz was found hanging in his room in Marquette after seeing posts and texts that his 13-year-old girlfriend killed herself. The posts were a prank.

Tysen's mother, Katrina Goss, has said he replied over social media that he was going to kill himself. On Wednesday, she said the girl charged in the case should have gotten a harsher punishment.

Former police deputy chief charged in tow company probe

DETROIT (AP) — A former Detroit police deputy chief has been charged with bribery and conspiracy in connection with violations of the city's vehicle towing policy.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Detroit said Celia Washington, 57, was indicted Wednesday.

The government said at least $3,000 was accepted from the owner of several towing companies who violated the city's policy.

Washington served as the police department's legal adviser before resigning in June. Her responsibilities included overseeing the department's permitting, licensing and use of private auto towing companies.

Private companies are called to tow stolen vehicles or those seized by police, but a company owner is prohibited from having more than one tow company in the rotation for a particular precinct or district.

Washington told the Detroit Free Press that the allegations are "absolutely untrue."

Detroit plans to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day next year

ANN ARBOR (AP) — Detroit plans to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day starting next year instead of Columbus Day.

The Detroit News reported City Council approved a proposal Tuesday on the issue about how to mark the second Monday of October.

Some other U.S. cities have made changes. Columbus Day, the federal holiday commemorating the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus, has been protested by those who argue his arrival to the Americas ushered in centuries of mistreatment of Native Americans.

Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda-Lopez proposed the resolution, saying it will help illuminate history that's overlooked by "mainstream society."

Several people spoke out against the proposal, saying Columbus Day should be kept and calling the change an attack on Italian-Americans.

In Detroit, city workers don't get Columbus Day as a paid day off.

Michigan Supreme Court hearing sex offender registry case

LANSING (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments in the case of a man who was placed on the sex offender registry for touching a girl's breasts, even though his case was dismissed in 1997 after successful probation and community service.

Boban Temelkoski wants to be erased from the registry. He says he's been punished for decades by lawmakers because his non-conviction has been treated as a conviction. His case was dismissed in Wayne County under a commonly used procedure for young offenders.

The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday.

Temelkoski said potential employers have no access to his old sealed court case, but they can look him up on the registry.

Attorney General Bill Schuette is opposing Temelkoski. He says the registry is not criminal punishment.

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