Former labor union president Jonathan Byrd was sure over for trial Thursday on one depend of felony sexual conduct.
Byrd served as president of the South Central Michigan AFL-CIO and director of exterior affairs for the Michigan Laborers’ District Council, of the Laborers’ Worldwide Union of North America (LiUNA), till he resigned earlier this 12 months when a report from a lady who labored in the identical subject as Byrd saying he assaulted her at an occasion got here to mild.
Legal professional Basic Dana Nessel, a Democrat, filed the cost of fourth diploma felony sexual conduct in June, saying in a information launch asserting the costs that the sufferer reported that at an occasion in Kalamazoo County in April, Byrd forcibly moved her hand onto his penis. Byrd was a robust man with a lot affect within the state, creating “a major energy imbalance” between the lady and Byrd.
Nessel mentioned in a June information launch, “Within the state of Michigan we’ll maintain sexual predators accountable regardless of how well-connected they’re and regardless of no matter prominence they get pleasure from within the dealings of our authorities.”
The girl months later reported her story to the police, however earlier than she, Byrd and state Rep. Jim Haadsma (D-Battle Creek) had a gathering to debate the April occasion, the Detroit Information studies.
When requested concerning the assembly by police Haadsma mentioned he acted as a mediator within the assembly and was “unaware of any bodily advances” and “believed it to simply be verbal in nature,” in response to the Detroit Information.
A gaggle of Republican Home members held a press convention in early Could to name on Home management to revoke Haadsma’s chairmanship of the Home Labor Committee.
Rigas questioned what authority Haadsma needed to “mediate” a dialog between an individual accusing one other of sexual assault and the accused.
“It appears clear Rep. Haadsma was working to cowl up the deplorable acts of a union lobbyist to maintain it out of the general public’s view,” Rep. Angela Rigas (R-Caledonia) mentioned in Could. “Permitting him to proceed to steer the Home’s Labor Committee after this misguided and coercive motion is unacceptable. Representatives have been faraway from committees for much much less.”
On the time, a spokesperson for Home Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) mentioned there have been no plans to revoke a chairmanship for Haadsma or intrude with the continuing felony investigation.
The following courtroom date in Byrd’s case, which was sure over to the Kalamazoo County Circuit Courtroom for a trial, just isn’t set, however may very well be set subsequent week, in response to courtroom workers.
Nessel put out a press release Friday saying her workplace is dedicated to defending the rights of sexual assault victims.
“We’ll proceed to hunt accountability on their behalf no matter how well-connected a preparator could also be and regardless of no matter prominence they get pleasure from within the dealings of our authorities,” Nessel mentioned.
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