Dalpra released after five months
CRYSTAL FALLS—A Crystal Falls man who pleaded no contest to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct with an incapacitated victim was released from the Iron County Correctional Facility on June 30 after serving five months of a six-month sentence that was based on a plea arrangement.
The case of the People of the State of Michigan versus Connor Timothy Dalpra, 22, began back in July 2017 when he was accused of third-degree CSC - engaging in sexual contact with a woman while knowing or having reason to know the victim was physically helpless.
Because of potential conflicts of interest with then-Iron County Judge C. Joseph Schwedler and the Iron County Prosecutor’s Office, the case was assigned to judges and attorneys outside the county. The Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office took over the prosecution while Judge Janis Burgess of Ontonagon County presided over the case while it was in district court and 12th Circuit Court Judge Charles Goodman presided over the case when it ended up in circuit court.
Dalpra was originally bound over to the circuit court on the initial charge. But in July 2018, Marquette County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Autumn Gruss motioned to amend the charges to first-degree CSC charge (injury to an incapacitated victim) and the fourth-degree charge.
In turn, defense attorney Roy Polich argued that the “personal injury” the victim suffered (mental anguish) did not rise to the level to amend the charge from CSC third degree to CSC first degree.
Goodman agreed with the prosecution on the amended charge, but also stipulated that the case be remanded back to the district court for another preliminary examination so that Polich could examine the victim on the stand while she testified about the incident in question.
After that prelim on Oct. 25, 2018, Burgess bound Dalpra back to circuit court on both CSC first degree and CSC fourth degree.
But on Nov. 21, 2018, a plea deal was agreed upon between the Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and Polich to dismiss the CSC first degree charge in exchange for a no contest plea on the CSC fourth degree, which is a high court misdemeanor, punishable by up to two years.
A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as a guilty plea by the court as it considers sentencing.