Sunday, May 29, 2016

Woman convicted of sexual conduct on adopted son to get new trial

Lorinda Swain will get a new trial more than a decade after being convicted of criminal sexual conduct.

The Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a new trial and sent the case back to Calhoun County Circuit Court, where 14 years ago Swain was convicted by a jury of four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. She was charged with repeatedly performing oral sex on her young adopted son between 1992 and 1996 in Burlington.

Swain, 55, of rural Marshall was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison. She served seven years before she was released on bond by now-retired Circuit Judge Conrad Sindt, whose two rulings for a new trial for Swain have been overturned by appeals courts.

Swain has maintained her innocence and the boy, Ronald Swain, has recanted his testimony.

Last month, attorneys from the Michigan Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School argued before the Supreme Court that Swain is entitled to a new trial because prosecutors withheld information about a former boyfriend, Dennis Book. They said a detective interviewed Book, who said he lived with Swain and her two sons during the time allegations of abuse were made and never saw any of it. He was never called to testify at the trial.

Prosecutors have denied Book had a conversation with the detective, but said, if it did happen, it was not newly discovered evidence because the defense at least knew the former boyfriend could have evidence for their case.

Original report here

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