A 55-year-old man is facing three felony charges of criminal sexual conduct in which he is accused of molesting a girl from 2007 to 2011. She has a mental handicap.
Roger W. Ferworn waived the official reading of his charges Wednesday afternoon in Grosse Pointe Woods court, during which a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf. He is charged with three counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct in which he used a position of authority he had over the victim to coerce her to submit to the sexual conduct.
Each charge is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and, if convicted, the charges require mandatory testing for AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases as well as submission of DNA. If he is convicted, the charges also require sex offender registration.
Detective Anthony Chalut testified briefly Wednesday. According to his testimony, the victim's mother reported the crime and the investigation revealed that Ferworn molested the girl beginning in 2007 and continued doing so into 2011. The victim was 14 years old when the molestation began and she is "mentally handicap," Chalut testified.
The molestation happened at Ferworn's house, Chalut also testified.
The relationship between Ferworn and the victim was not identified in court but the charges specifically state that he was in a position of authority in relation to the girl.
Chalut requested a bond be set. Chalut told the judge Ferworn had been cooperative throughout the investigation and had turned himself in on the warrant stemming from the three charges.
He described the serious nature of the case and told the judge that while he believes Ferworn will show up for future court appearances, a reasonable bond plus the GPS tether or house arrest would be added security to his future appearances.
Ferworn's attorney, Shannon Smith, requested a $5,000 bond and that if a tether must be used, that it be a GPS tether versus house arrest. She said Ferworn is lifelong resident of Michigan, has lived in the Woods for 21 years with his wife and has two children nearing adulthood.
She also emphasized that Ferworn has no criminal history. Ferworn, who lost his job in November, is seeking employment and attending job interviews, Smith said. The GPS tether would allow him to continue seeking employment, she said.
Judge Ted Metry ordered Ferworn to be held on a $10,000 cash or 10 percent surety bond. Metry also ordered Ferworn to wear a GPS tether during his release due to the "gravity" of the charges and case.
In addition to the bond and GPS tether, Metry ordered Ferworn to have no contact with the victim or her family, listing off a variety of specific examples including social media sites. He also ordered Ferworn to have no individual contact with any children younger than 16 years old.
Ferworn also waived his right to have his preliminary exam within 14 days per the request of his attorney, who told the judge she needed additional time to adequately prepare for the hearing. She explained that there is some evidence she has to view—interviews that were videotaped—at the police station.
Chalut, she said, has turned over to her some of the documents related to the investigation but there are some recordings that cannot be copied for her, requiring her to schedule a time to come in and view them.
She also told the judge she would be working with another attorney on the case as co-counsel.
Ferworn will return to court Oct. 17 for the preliminary exam.