In January of 2012, Donald Martin Zuder was convicted on a charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a weapon used in connection with an incident at his home that allegedly occurred with a female acquaintance in 2006. Zuder, who is now 79 years old, will serve out his sentence after a Michigan Court of Appeals panel ruled unanimously this week that the conviction was valid.
Zuder was sentenced to prison time of between 3 1/2 and 15 years by former Muskegon County Circuit Judge James M. Graves Jr.
The alleged victim, who was not identified in a news article at Mlive.com, said that the sexual assault took place in the summer of 2006, when Zuder (who was an acquaintance) asked if she would like to clean his home to earn extra money. She agreed, and after touring the house with Zuder the two had a drink. While she was sitting at the kitchen counter, Zuder left the room and returned with a long gun. Initially, Zuder pointed the gun toward a window and mentioned how he could kill a deer with it. She claims that he then pointed the gun at her, calling her a “tease” and saying that she would have to be nicer to him. She requested that Zuder take her home at that point, but he refused.
Instead, the victim alleges, Zuder retrieved a bag containing women’s undergarments after laying the gun on the kitchen table. He requested to see the woman’s body, at which point she said her second request that he take her home was denied. She then removed her clothes and dressed in the undergarments, at which point she alleges Zuder put his hands all over her body. The two played pool at Zuder’s request; she then dressed and the defendant drove her home. The alleged victim said that she felt she had no choice but to comply with Zuder’s demands because she was fearful of the gun laying on the kitchen table.
Appeals judges Joel P. Hoesktra, William B. Murphy, and E. Thomas Fitzgerald signed the opinion affirming Zuder’s conviction.
As all capable and experienced Michigan criminal appeals attorneys are aware, having a conviction overturned is not easy, and requires exceptional skill.
If you have been unfairly convicted or face a sentence you feel is extreme in comparison to the crime committed, consult with a talented Michigan criminal appeals lawyer at once, who will review your case to determine if there are sufficient grounds for appeal.