Former SMC instructor accused of criminal sexual conduct still awaiting trial

CASSOPOLIS — The pandemic has delayed the trial of a former Southwestern Michigan College instructor who is accused of a number of crimes.

A pretrial conference was held Friday with no resolution to the case. Field faces 17 criminal sexual conduct, perjury and insurance fraud charges stemming from incidents dating back to 2015.

Fitz reported Friday that the April 28 trial date for Field has been adjourned due to the COVID-19 restrictions on court proceedings. No new trial date has been set.

The Michigan Supreme Court has asked courts to postpone nearly all court proceedings until the pandemic crisis is over. Only those currently in jail should have their cases move forward.

The case is being heard by Allegan County Circuit Judge Roberts Kengis after Judge Herman recused himself in 2018. That recusal came after it was discovered that he had served on the board of directors of the counseling center where Field worked in addition to teaching at SMC.

Field was arrested Sept. 26, 2017. The investigation of Field began earlier the same month, after a former SMC student told college officials about Field’s alleged actions against her. They began investigating and recommended she contact the sheriff’s department. SMC completed their investigation in late September 2017 when they fired Field.

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