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Lachine man to be tried 3rd time for sexual assault of 3rd victim

Submitted by on July 11, 2019 – 12:44 amNo Comment

It appears a Lachine man will be tried a third time for allegedly sexually assaulting a third victim in the 1990’s.

Joel Howard James, 64, has already been convicted of sexually assaulting a niece between 1992-1994. He was found guilty in 2016 and recently got out of prison after serving 3 years of a 3-25 year sentence.

During a first trial, James was charged with sexually assaulting three girls including the niece. The jury failed to reach a verdict on the niece and another victim; and acquitted James on charges stemming from the third victim.

James was convicted of sexually assaulting the niece during a second trial, but the jury was hung a second time on the third alleged victim.

The prosecutor’s office planned to take James to trial a third time when Judge Michael Mack ruled the Statute of Limitations prevented the case from moving forward. But the prosecutor’s office won a reversal of that decision through the Court of Appeals.

James then appealed that decision to the Michigan Supreme Court, which last week denied his application for leave to appeal the lower court’s decision. Alpena County Prosecutor Ed Black says he “absolutely” plans to take James to trial on the third victim for a third time. A date for that trial has not been scheduled.

James allegedly sexually assaulted the girl between 1996-97 when she was under the age of 15. He moved to Alaska at some point in time but in May 2014 the prosecutor’s office had him extradited to Michigan to face charges.

James is still living in the Lachine area.