CALHOUN COUNTY, Mich. — Emmett Township public safety officer Troy Estree appeared before a Calhoun County magistrate for his video arraignment.
The officer is in the Branch County Jail. Estree faces two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.
He’s accused of having sex with a teenage relative. His attorney, Josh Blanchard, argued his innocence while trying to get a lower bond set.
“There’s, I think, little evidence that he’s in fact guilty. I think there’s quite a lot of evidence that he’s not guilty of these charges,” Blanchard said.
Blanchard said his client is behind bars because the victim was forced to lie.
“The complainant in this matter was interviewed. It’s a 15 year old girl, and rather than doing a forensic interview, the trooper detective took her into an interrogation room and engaged in an interrogation,” the attorney said.
“[The complainant] sat down, and she named another person who did this. [The detective] told her, essentially, ‘we know you’re lying. You got to be lying,’” Blanchard continued.
“They kept questioning her until she named the person they wanted,” he said.
Estree is a 10 year veteran of the Emmett Township Public Safety Department. He is married to a Battle Creek police detective, according to his attorney.
His wife was said to have been by Estree’s side when he was arrested at work. Estree wasn’t on duty at the time.
“I think it’s also worth considering that the police in this case didn’t even make an attempt to get my clients story before they arrested him. They arrested him on Wednesday morning without a warrant being issued,” Blanchard said the chief called Estree in to work. That’s when the arrest occurred.
The magistrate set Estree’s bond at $150,000 much lower than the $500,000 bond the prosecutor requested.
Estree’s due back in court August 22nd.