What Happens When You Make False Allegations of Child Abuse in Michigan? (Pt 1)

September 24, 2019 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
The word LIES made up of the word truth, repeated over and over in shades of green.
What may look like truth could actually be nothing more than a pack of lies…

People sometimes lie. They cheat, and steal, and say whatever they think someone else needs to hear in order to get what they want out of a situation. It’s a sad truth, but one that we all have to acknowledge if we’re going to survive in the world today. Thankfully this doesn’t apply to everyone, or to every situation. But it would be naive to assume that everyone is always telling you the truth, or that everything is always the way it appears at first glance. 

Allegations of sexual abuse were made against a former principal!

So when several Elk Rapids School officials received anonymous letters in 2018 claiming that a particular former principal had sexually assaulted a student years before, not everyone accepted the allegations at face value. At the time the letters arrived, the principal of Cherryland Middle School in Elk Rapids was Terry Starr, who also happened to receive one of the letters. But police are saying that he was actually the writer!

Police are trying to determine who made these allegations.

According to the anonymous letters, former principal Mike Travis had a sexual relationship with a former student who is now a graduate of the Elk Rapids School District. According to police, the letters were typed, but the envelopes addressed to the different school district officials were handwritten. In order to determine who wrote the letters, investigators asked a number of different people for samples of their handwriting. Starr was one of those people asked to submit a sample, which he did. 

A handwriting specialist examined the examples and compared them…

Michigan State Police Lt. Mark Goff, a forensic analyst and handwriting expert who testified for the prosecution, explained that his examination of the different writing samples gave him “probable” cause to believe that Starr wrote the letters. But he wasn’t willing to testify to that beyond a reasonable doubt. And he also wouldn’t eliminate either of the other three suspects as possible writers of the anonymous letters. And then there’s the fact that the handwriting expert for the defense came to a completely different conclusion. So where does that leave the investigation? Join us next time, when we’ll be discussing exactly what happens when someone makes a false report of child abuse. But until then…

Starr is facing very serious criminal charges as a result of these letters!

Starr has been charged with Making a False Report of a Felony, and Making a False Report of Child Abuse. He pled guilty to both charges, but these are not charges that should be taken lightly. Both are felonies and could land him in prison for several years, so it’s important that his defense be well handled. (Although right now even the expert witnesses for the prosecution aren’t sure…) However, this case is also a good reminder of the importance of always being honest when making reports of child abuse.

If you need help fighting allegations of child abuse, call us!

The Kronzek Firm’s trial team is made up of skilled child abuse defense attorneys with years of experience fighting false allegations. We know how devastating this can be to your career and your personal life, and how hard it is to fight to prove your innocence in the face of lies. But it’s not impossible, and we have access to great resources, like widely respected expert witnesses and investigators. So if you’re facing false allegations of child abuse, call 866 766 5245 right now, and get help from the top team in Michigan.