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Cassopolis man sent to prison for sexual misconduct

Published 9:02am Monday, May 19, 2014

A Cassopolis man will spend the next few years inside a Michigan prison cell for sexually assaulting a teenager in his care.

Cass County Circuit Judge Michael Dodge sentenced David Ellsworth Hunley, 41, to four years in prison on charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct Friday. Hunley appeared before the court before on April 14, when he pleaded guilty to the crime.

According to the court, the charges stem from a period of time between 2011 to 2013, when Hunley repeatedly had sexual contact a teenage girl, who was living with him at the time, Dodge said.

“This criminal conduct took advantage of a domestic situation, since she was living in the home with you at the time,” he said.

Dodge said the only reason the situation didn’t escalate any further was because the victim was able to fight off her attacker.

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz asked the judge to sentence Hunley at the top of the sentencing guidelines, due to the severity of his actions and the fact he took advantage of a child under his care, he said.

“Once he was caught, he tried to blame her, for her alleged provocative behavior,” Fitz said. “Then he tried to blame it on marijuana, and now he is trying to blame it on mental illness.”

According to Fitz, Hunley’s actions were partially fueled by his obsession with pornography.

“You can fill your mind with good things or you can fill your mind with bad things, and what you fill it with is what you’re going to do,” Fitz said. “He needs to suffer the consequences of his own actions.”

The victim has suffered many long-term damages as a result of the attacks, the prosecutor added.

“He has changed her life, and he has changed it forever,” Fitz said. “She’s lost the trust of adults, she’s lost her friends and she’s lost her siblings.”

Hunley has been convicted of sexually assaulting a minor once before when he was charged with for child molestation in Indiana in 1997. He served time in prison and on probation for the crime.

Hunley declined to comment in front of the judge before receiving his sentence.

He was given 168 days credit for time already served.

Also sentenced Friday:

• Michael Edward Mathews, 22, of Jones, to 300 days in jail and two years probation on multiple charges, including the manufacturing of explosives and possession of marijuana. Mathews was arrested after a search by the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team discovered the drug and numerous bomb-making components, including a Molotov cocktail, on March 26. He was given 51 days credit for time served.

• Sean Michael Bailey, of Edwardsburg, to 365 days in jail on multiple charges, including fleeing from police. The charges stem from an incident that occurred on Jan. 11, when Bailey fled from an Edwardsburg police officer in his vehicle, after the officer attempted to pull him over to investigate a domestic violence complaint. He was arrested after crashing his vehicle into a snow bank and attempting to flee on foot. He was given credit for 126 days served.

• Robert Anthony Curtis, 49, of Cassopolis, to one year probation for possession of marijuana. The charges stem from an incident that occurred on July 15, after detectives from the Drug Enforcement Team discovered that Curtis was growing two dozen marijuana plants outside his home. While he was in possession of a medical marijuana card, the amount of plants and their location were not in compliance with state law.

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