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Skaluba jury won’t be sequestered, trial starts May 13

Submitted by on April 12, 2019 – 12:54 amNo Comment

The case against an Alpena man accused of raping a teenage girl and a young woman is finally heading to trial, nearly three years after the accusations first arose.

The case of the People versus Nicholas Edward Skaluba is scheduled for trial on Monday, May 13, two days after he turns 22 years-old.

Skaluba is charged with two counts each of criminal sexual conduct first and third degree, and delivery of a controlled substance to commit criminal sexual conduct.  He is accused of drugging and then sexually assaulting a 19 year-old woman on the evening of July 27, 2016.  The following night he allegedly engaged in similar conduct with a second victim who was 16 years-old at the time.

Both assaults occurred at a friend’s house where a series of underage drinking parties were being held.

During a final status conference Thursday, Prosecutor Ed Black voiced concern over a relatively new witness for the defense – a forensic expert on cell phones who is expected to testify on recovering information off cell phones.   Judge George Mertz of Gaylord, who will oversee the trial, said Black can file a motion to strike the witness if the defense does not give him adequate time to review the expert’s findings prior to trial.

It was also determined Thursday, that the jury will not be sequestered during the expected five-day trial.  Instead, Mertz will tell jurors to avoid all news reports of the case, along with comments on Facebook and other social media sites, while the trial is underway.

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