Sexual assault trials to share evidence

ESCANABA — Dickinson County Circuit Court Judge Mary Barglind decided evidence from one criminal sexual conduct case will be allowed to be used in the defendant’s other upcoming criminal sexual conduct trial in Delta County Circuit Court Friday.

After hearing the arguments, Barglind weighed the relevancy and the prejudice effect that allowing the evidence may have on the trial.

“The court is going to deny the objection and grant the prosecutor’s request to admit the other act’s evidence,” she said.

Hunter Grizz Gallagher, 18, of Gladstone, is facing two criminal sexual conduct cases, with one scheduled for trial at the end of the month and the other at the end of October.

Gallagher is charged in one case with criminal sexual conduct – second degree. The charge stems from an alleged incident in August 2018 in Masonville Township. Two other teens are facing charges from this incident — Tanner James-Arthur Cannon, 17, of Gladstone, and James Michael Greenlund, 19, of Rapid River.

Gallagher was also charged in another case with criminal sexual conduct – first degree and criminal sexual conduct – third degree. The charges stem from an alleged incident on June 13, 2017, in Gladstone. Another teen is also facing charges from this incident — Dylan Michael-Patrick McDonough, 19, of Gladstone.

At a hearing in June, Barglind heard arguments from both sides regarding a motion to dismiss one of the criminal sexual conduct charges in one of the cases. She made her decision through writing earlier this week, and granted Gallagher’s motion to dismiss criminal sexual conduct – first degree in the case involving Greenlund and Cannon.

Assistant Attorney General Brian Kolodziej filed to allow evidence from the case related to the 2018 incident to be used in the upcoming trial for the case that involves Gallagher and McDonough, as it is scheduled to begin at the end of this month. He argued state law allows evidence from another act to be used in a trial regarding sexual violence or domestic violence, as it is relevant.

Trent Stupak, Gallagher’s attorney, argued the use of the evidence regarding the 2018 incident would compromise his defendant’s constitutional rights during the trial, create an unfair prejudice with the jury, could mislead or confuse the jury, and could compromise the other trial, which will take place after the completion of the trial for the 2017 incident.

“We think including this evidence in an already complex process is going to be difficult and may have a chance to confuse and mislead the jury in what they’re going to have to decide. We are going to have two defendants, we are going to have multiple charges and now add another uncharged act. We think that that adds to the reason why the court should … not allow this evidence in,” Stupak said.

When Barglind decided to allow the evidence from the other act, Stupak wanted clarification on the exact evidence that would be allowed, as the motion just mentions the victim’s testimony.

Kolodziej said the victim of the other case will testify as part of the evidence, but the evidence from the other act is not limited to just that testimony, as he also plans to use a statement made by Gallagher during the investigation.

Stupak objected to allowing the statement as it would infringe on his client’s right to remain silent during the trial and may cause Gallagher to need to testify.

Barglind said it was her inclination to allow all the evidence, but Stupak could file a motion to exclude Gallagher’s statement.

The dual jury trial for Gallagher and McDonough is scheduled to begin July 29. The dual jury trial for Gallagher and Greenlund is scheduled to start Oct. 22.