This case consists of criminal sexual allegations by Angela Jean W., of Brutus, MI against her boyfriend Joel Nathan Dufresne. They have one minor child, Hale Dufresne, from their 2 ½ year relationship. Joel was wrongfully convicted of rape in 2006 and is serving a 50 to 75 year sentence in a Michigan Prison.
When it was discovered that kidnapping was not a possible charge it suddenly became a rape case. Was this a custody case that went terribly wrong? Was Emmet county trying to rid their community of someone who had political views that they did not agree with? Is Prosecutor Eric Keiser guilty of misconduct prior to the trial? You decide.
This site contains a summary and a chronology of events about Joel's pre-trial. It only addresses the misconduct before trial and does not include the improper conduct during the trial or in the sentencing. The documents that support Joel's allegations are included in this site.
This is an account of a criminal court case in the small town of Petoskey, MI where the verdict did not serve justice. Read this and ask yourself; Is this a picture of American justice?
Joel has a prior criminal record, including a juvenile record. There is nothing in his file consistent with behavior like criminal sexual conduct and he steadfastly denies guilt for these charges. He repeatedly requested polygraph examination and was not given one. Michigan statute or law provides: "A defendant who allegedly has committed a [criminal sexual conduct] crime...shall be given a polygraph examination or lie detector test if the defendant requests it.”
Angela W. has been diagnosed as having Borderline Personality Disorder/Manic Depression, has a criminal record replete with deceptiveness and a substance abuse problem. She has been prescribed many medications to control her mental illness and has been in outpatient therapy.
On 2/14/06, Joel came to believe that Angela had relapsed into substance abuse. Later he learned that she had not, but before he discovered his error he took their son, Hale and left their home for good. He traveled to Florida, and after several days contacted Angela by phone. He eventually apologized for his error.
Meanwhile, Angela W. had been in contact with the MI State Police. Initially, the complaint was parental kidnapping, but there was insufficient grounds for such charges. Michigan State Police Det. Sgt. Gwen White-Erickson questioned Angela about criminal sexual conduct and the “instant” case began. The detective then had Angela examined for evidence of sexual abuse on 2/14/06. The results of the examination were exculpatory.
The results were suppressed. It was just the beginning of a campaign of prosecutorial misconduct. Particular note is made of the trial testimony of White-Erickson about an 8-page attachment to her affidavit of arrest in this case. White-Erickson claimed that she did not attach those pages or cite them in her affidavit, that she did not know how the attachment got in the court file and made a point of stating, that the copy of the affidavit the defense counsel had did not have her signature on it.
On redirect examination, White-Erickson pointed the finger for her affidavit's attachment at Prosecutor Eric Kaiser. The attachment is highly inflammatory, totally irrelevant and pretty much the same attachment filed with Angela's civil custody case, filed about the same time.
None of the prosecutorial misconduct described has been remedied. The full extent of it is not yet known, but it does include:
1) The affidavit of probable cause controversy just described
2) Suppressed exculpatory evidence
3) Witness intimidation
4) Knowing use of perjury
5) Prosecutorial improper arguments; and