Chad Curtis, a former Major League Baseball player, was charged with six counts of criminal sexual conduct in May of this year after allegedly engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct with teenage girls attending Lakewood schools, where Curtis was a volunteer at Lakewood High School.
Since that time, there have been hearings and pre-trial motions which have challenged the rulings made by Judge Amy McDowell; now, the case will go to the Michigan Court of Appeals. Instead of the original trial date set for January 14 in Barry County Circuit Court, the trial is slated to begin in early May. David Dodge, Curtis’ attorney, chose to challenge motions that he lost before Judge McDowell, arguing that Chris Ellsworth, Barry County Assistant Prosecutor, was a witness necessary to Curtis’ defense; because Dodge wanted Ellsworth to take the witness stand, he motioned to have the assistant prosecutor disqualified.
According to news reports, Dodge is questioning a meeting that took place between Ellsworth and an individual who has now been identified as a victim, although the individual was reportedly a witness at the time of the meeting. Allegedly, the witness described an event between herself and Curtis to Ellsworth, but the conversation was not recorded, nor was there a third party present to witness the conversation. Dodge feels it is necessary that Ellsworth testifies as to what was discussed in the conversation, since the former witness is now supposedly a victim.
Essentially, Dodge’s motion to have the assistant prosecutor disqualified was denied by Judge McDowell, who said that the pertinent information, depending on Dodge’s questioning skills, could be revealed during the alleged victim’s testimony. Dodge also argued about an expert psychology witness that he feels should be able to testify regarding behavioral science specific to his case and client, but the judge ruled that the witness could testify only to general principles. It is expected that the Court of Appeals will rule on Dodge’s challenges to the judge’s rulings sometime in late March.
Michigan criminal defense appellate law attorneys know that false convictions are fairly common with sex crimes; society frowns upon those accused of committing heinous crimes against other people, and often feel they are guilty before they are ever convicted. If you have been convicted of a sex-related offense, you may still have options. Speak with an experienced sex crime appeals lawyer in Michigan immediately, as you only have a short window of time in which you may file a motion or appeal.