Corrections officer bound over to circuit court

By JORDAN TRAVIS

News Staff Writer

ROGERS CITY – A Presque Isle County corrections officer accused of criminal sexual conduct will go to trial to face the charges.

Judge Theodore Johnson, 88th District Court, heard testimony from the victim at a preliminary hearing Friday, Special Prosecutor Daryl Vizina said. She told the court that Richard David Hanson, 55, twice grabbed her breast in the fall of 2013. The contact was unsolicited and without consent on her part.

“The judge bound over to what happened on both counts of criminal sexual conduct, fourth degree,” Vizina said. “He determined there was probable cause (Hanson) committed the crimes.”

Vizina declined to identify Hanson’s accuser.

William Pfeifer confirmed that is what Hanson’s accuser said in court, and said he was anticipating the case would be bound over as many cases do. As of Friday, Pfeifer said Hanson is “definitely” proceeding to trial.

“Mr. Hanson and his family look forward to being able to present the facts of the case to a jury,” Pfeifer said.

Hanson was arrested on March 11 after Michigan State Police investigated a complaint forwarded to them by the Rogers City Police Department, Alpena MSP Post Commander Mike Hahn said in March. The woman said the assault had occurred in a private residence in the city. Hahn stressed the alleged assault didn’t happen at the county jail or any other county facility, as far as the investigation revealed.

Vizina and Johnson are handling the case because their Presque Isle County counterparts perceived there would be a conflict of interest, Vizina said. He expects another circuit court judge will hear the case besides 53rd Circuit Court Judge Scott Pavlich.

Hanson’s bond was continued without changes, Vizina said.

Prior to the hearing, Hanson had resumed his work at the county jail. Sheriff Robert Paschke said in June that he’d allowed Hanson to return based on what he saw in a police report detailing the incident. Paschke allowed him back on the premise that he’s innocent until proven guilty, and and said he could change his mind based on what comes to light at a preliminary hearing

A message was left for Paschke Friday.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.