Michigan has begun the slow journey into the new millennium. Maybe. In finally waking up and seeing the light, Michigan would join Great Britain, Japan, Canada, Wisconsin, and just about every sophisticated Western criminal justice system in banning or severely limiting the admissibility of shaken baby syndrome, sometimes now referred to as abusive head trauma. As we have posted before, this is pure junk, not science.
The Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the manslaughter and child abuse convictions of a Battle Creek man last week convicted of causing the death of his 5 month old son using classic SBS/AHT evidence. The Court of appeals noted that the attorney at trial rendered ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to present a defense expert at trial, a classic mistake made by lawyers defending these cases, writing “there is a reasonable probability that had the defendant been armed with an expert of his own, the outcome of his trial would have been different.” People v Brown, Case No. 337860 (7/25/19). http://publicdocs.courts.mi.gov/opinions/final/coa/20190725_c337860_85_337860.opn.pdf
This decision joins other recent SBS/AHT defense wins, such as People v. Ackley, 497 Mich 381, 870 N.W.2d 858 (Mich. 2015), where the Michigan Supreme Court held that it was ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to present medical evidence disputing the prosecution experts’ SBS/AHT-based opinions. Importantly, the Supreme Court went on to give a hint that they are beginning to doubt the science behind SBS/AHT: “Given the centrality of expert testimony to the prosecution’s proofs and the highly contested nature of the underlying medical issue, counsel’s single error of failing to consult an expert who could meaningfully assist him constituted ineffective assistance.” https://courts.michigan.gov/Courts/MichiganSupremeCourt/Clerks/Recent%20Opinions/14-15-Term-Opinions/149479-Opinion.pdf.
Do these cases mark a watershed change in the way Michigan courts view shaken baby cases? Time will tell. But in the meantime, if you find yourself charged with child abuse/SBS/AHT, insist that your lawyer consult, hire, and present a Defense Expert – one that presents a valid medical explanation of your side of what happened. Or just call Satawa Law, where we have the specialized expertise to defend these allegations, and win your case.
Satawa Law. Defending your rights, protecting your future.
Do people confess to crimes they don’t commit? The age old question in criminal law. It seems so difficult to believe. Why would anyone admit to doing something they didn’t do? Particularly something as awful as sexual assault, child abuse, shaken baby, murder, or molesting a child. We all want to think – if I was ever charged with something like that, and I didn’t do it, I would SCREAM “I’m innocent!” I would never confess to it. But there is overwhelming and undeniable evidence to the contrary, in the form of case studies, statistics, data, and DNA exonerations by Innocence Projects throughout the country. Quite simply, people do confess to crimes they didn’t commit. And they have for centuries. For all kinds of reasons. Just remember, scores of Puritans in Massachusetts confessed to being a witch who spoke with Satan — were they really possessed by the anti-Christ? Or did they do it to avoid being hung from a tree? Read more
Satawa Law. On guard for you. Satawa Law. Defending your rights, and protecting your future.
Have you recently been falsely accused of child abuse? If so, you need to act quickly. You need to hire the services of a Southfield Mi child abuse attorney. This is the person who can work with you to get these false charges exposed and dropped before they do serious damage to your life.
You Can’t Afford Not to Respond to False Allegations of Child Abuse
There is a very special stigma attached to this kind of crime that can follow you throughout the rest of your life, including being placed on the Michigan Central Registry for Child Abuse. Once you are formally charged with this crime, it can result not only in legal penalties but also in the loss of your job, your family, and your friends.
If these charges are allowed to become a part of your permanent record, no employer will want to hire a person with such heinous crimes on their record. You will have trouble moving into a new home. It will set up a lifelong pattern of discrimination that will be very hard to break free of.
Contact the Office of Attorney Mark Satawa at Satawa Law PLLC
It’s never a good idea to try to fight these charges by yourself, or with a lawyer you know because he helped you with your house closing or car accident. The prosecutor will be working overtime to try to get a conviction for your accuser. The prosecutor and police will do all in their power to get you to contradict your story or even incriminate yourself. If they succeed in this, the case can be lost before it even begins.
You need to hire a Southfield Mi child abuse attorney to give you the expert legal assistance that you will need. Your best bet is to get in touch with Satawa Law PLLC to learn what we can do to help you restore your reputation and stop these false accusations.
There is nothing in the world worse than being falsely accused of child sexual abuse. This is a crime that has a very unique – and very dangerous – stigma attached to it. If you are a parent or caregiver who has been falsely accused of such a heinous act, you need to take action immediately. This is not the kind of charge you can ignore or take lightly.
What to Do if You Have Been Falsely Accused of Child Sexual Assault
The first thing you need to do if you are falsely accused of child sexual assault to contact a Southfield Michigan child sex crimes lawyer, such as Attorney Mark Satawa from Satawa Law PLLC. You can schedule to meet with us for a confidential, initial consultation with an expert in child sexual crime defense.
The sooner you hire a specialist attorney to represent you, the better. It is extremely important to put these accusations to bed before they can get out of hand. These charges can result in you losing your family, friends, job, and any prospects for a future career before you even get to court. A lawyer from our firm can help get this issue taken care before it destroys your life.
Contact a Southfield Michigan Child Abuse Lawyer Today
Don’t let a false accusation of child sexual assault stop your life in its tracks. This is an ugly charge that can have permanently damaging consequences. This is not the time to play it safe, hope the problem resolves itself, or look for a quick plea bargain.
Your best bet is to hire Mark Satawa from Satawa Law PLLC to handle your case. Get in touch with us today to learn more about what we can do to help you beat this ugly and false accusation.
The Michigan Sex Crimes lawyers at Satawa Law recently won another child sexual assault case at trial. A loving father was charged with sexual assault of 12 year old friend of his son, that he took into his home, and raised for years as his own son. He became a father figure to the young man, who even asked the client to formally adopt him. Shortly after the bio dad came back into the picture, the client called the police and CPS when he saw bio dad picking his son up from school while high. A few days later, client found himself charged with multiple criminal sexual conduct charges. Through an aggressive motion practice, the Southfield sexual assault attorneys of Satawa Law were able to acquire the boy’s school and psychological records, and discovered that as recently as 2 days before the allegations he told his therapist, teachers, school counselor, and CPS that he felt safe with client, and wanted to live with him. Following a multiple day trial, client was found not guilty and acquitted of all charges. The client’s response: “Hiring Mr. Satawa was a game changer and saved my life!,” “he was relentless in preparing and learning the truth,” and “I am so grateful for Mr. Satawa and his team for saving my life! ” His full testimonial will follow in a few weeks.
When it comes to false allegations of sexual assault, we will defend your rights, and protect your future. Don’t leave your fate to chance. Schedule your confidential and complimentary case review today.
Shaken baby syndrome or abusive head trauma is worse than junk science. As we have argued for years, SBS is BS. It is flawed, unfounded, and dangerous. Seven national medical, legal, and scientific experts have recently published a great research paper, explaining the problems and arguing that child abuse Drs. should not be allowed to “diagnose” abuse in court, but rather only identify symptoms or medical findings. A great read. But how many lives has SBS/AHT crushed? Innocent people convicted, children removed, and families destroyed. Satawa Law, defending your rights and protecting your future. Contact us today!
The question of whether or not to vaccinate one’s child is one of the most controversial topics in recent news. Many parents across the country are changing how they view vaccinations, seeing them as being more harmful than helpful. Groups of anti-vaccination or “anti-vax” groups have chosen not to vaccinate their child.
Vaccines are powerful; they have been successful for decades because of their effectiveness. Those parents who are choosing not to vaccinate see the risks to their child’s health more so than the benefits.
Some of the most common concerns include the following:
- The belief that multiple vaccines at once will overwhelm the baby’s immune system
- The belief that vaccines contain toxins and other unwanted substances
- The belief that vaccines do not actually work
- The belief that the risk of injury or illness from a vaccine correlates with the need for specialized vaccine injury claims, such as the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)
- The belief that forcing parents to vaccinate is a violation of one’s rights
At Satawa Law, PLLC, we have seen these same parents face criminal charges for not vaccinating their child. The stories run a wide range: schools forcing parents to vaccinate their children based on policy, parents facing fines and forced to appear in court for violating immunization laws, Child Protective Services threatening to remove children out of a home if the parents refuse to vaccinate them, and parents who are incarcerated after failing to vaccinate results in the death of their child.
Facing Charges? Call Us at (248) 292-3209
As Michigan child abuse attorneys, we are here to help those parents who have been accused of or are facing charges of child abuse and other crimes involving their children. We know that this is a difficult time, and that is why we offer our support and our guidance. Attorney Mark Satawa is a seasoned trial lawyer and has handled hundreds of cases. He can evaluate a case to determine the most favorable line of defense possible.
If you have any questions about vaccination cases with regards to child abuse, please reach out to the firm today to discuss the matter further. Every initial appointment is free and confidential.
The University of Michigan’s law school is set to receive approximately $250,000 in federal grant money to implement a team that will look further into several shaken baby syndrome cases (“SBS”), which are increasingly be referred to by a new title – Abusive Head Trauma cases.
The Innocence Clinic at the law school investigates convictions in criminal cases where there is the suggestion of a wrongful conviction or some specific flaw or injustice during investigation or at trial. The Innocence Clinic team has further invested in researching child abuse allegations and convictions. The organization intends to use the money to reevaluate those convicted in shaken baby cases. The award will also be used to support defense efforts of those who were wrongfully convicted.
There are two purposes for the money’s intent:
- To locate a consultant off-site who will act as a fellow for the organization
- To employ experts who can appropriately evaluate shaken baby cases
Last year, in People v Ackley, 497 Mich 381 (2015), the Michigan’s Supreme Court voted to overturn one conviction of a man from Calhoun County accused of shaken baby syndrome. The Supreme Court held that his lawyers provided ineffective assistance of counsel and otherwise violated his legal rights by failing to present a more formidable challenge to the evidence in the case. In particular, the defense failed to hire, consult with, and present an expert in opposition to the Prosecutor’s experts. Specific they found error from:
Trial counsel’s failure to investigate adequately and to attempt to secure suitable expert assistance in the preparation and presentation of his defense. Expert testimony was critical in this case to explain whether the cause of the child’s death was intentional or accidental. Defense counsel’s failure to attempt to engage a single expert witness to rebut the prosecution’s expert testimony, or to attempt to consult an expert with the scientific training to support the defense theory of the case, fell below an objective standard of reasonableness, and there was a reasonable probability that this error affected the outcome of the trial. Accordingly, defendant was entitled to a new trial.
Interestingly, the Supreme Court seemed to call into question the entire spectrum of shaken baby prosecutions and their reliability when the opinion went on to note that the defense failure relating to experts was particularly egregious “in light of the prominent controversy within the medical community regarding the reliability of SBS/AHT diagnoses.”
The Supreme Court concluded that given that shaken baby syndrome cases involve such “substantial contradiction in a given area of expertise,” counsel’s failure to engage “expert testimony rebutting the state’s expert testimony” and to become “versed in [the] technical subject matter” most critical to the case resulted in two things: a defense theory without objective, expert testimonial support, and a defense counsel insufficiently equipped to challenge the prosecution’s experts because he possessed only Dr. Hunter’s reluctant and admittedly ill-suited input as his guide.
The Innocence Project believes that there may yet still be many cases of wrongfully convicted individuals for shaken baby and chid sex abuse cases, and hopes to assist those with due justice.
Satawa Law, PLLC recently prevailed on a writ of habeus corpus based on ineffective assistance of counsel filed on behalf of a client in Spaulding v. Larson. The client had been convicted at trial of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and and first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was sentenced to conncurrent terms of 3 to 15 years’ incarceration and for the second-degree charge and6 to 30 years’ incarceration for the first-degree charge.
Client was convicted of these crimes in 2010. The case involved the client’s stepdaughter, a teenager at the time of the events described in the case. Client’s stepdaughter had alleged that client had made illicit sexual advances toward her on multiple occasions.
Appeal Contends Ineffective Counsel & Witness Testimony
The State Trial Court, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the Michigan Supreme Court had all rejected this ineffective assistance of counsel argument when it was presented to them in a state 6500 Motion. Satawa Law then brought forth the argument that his defense lawyer was constitutionally ineffective when he failed to seek out/consult with an expert witness with a background in allegations of child sexual assault, forensic interviewing, and forensic psychology.
Satawa Law, PLLC relied on the opinion of Dr. Katherine Keefer Okla, who was a clinical psychologist and had extensive experience as an expert witness in child sexual assault cases. Dr. Okla noted that the stepdaughter had many inconsistencies in her stories and testimony, reducing the reliability in the State’s evidence.
Ultimately, the United States District Court granted the writ of habeus corpus and found that the client had received ineffective assistance of counsel, in direct violation of the Sixth Amendment.
Looking for Sound Legal Counsel?
Satawa Law, PLLC has successfully helped numerous clients find resolution and peace after being charged with a sexual crime or child abuse charges. We are here to safeguard your future, your reputation, and your character. If you have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to contact our firm to request a free, confidential case consultation.
Give us a call today at (248) 292-3209.