Dowagiac restaurateur arrested on criminal sexual conduct charges

DOWAGIAC — A Dowagiac restaurateur has been arrested on charges of criminal sexual activity with a minor.

Kevin Hanner, 51, of Front Street in Dowagiac, was arraigned in Cass County District Court Wednesday on three charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person between the ages of 13 and 15.

According to Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz’s office, if convicted of the charges, Hanner could be looking at between five years, if convicted as a second offense, and 25 years in prison, if sentenced as a habitual offender.

Hanner is currently listed on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry. His past offenses include a 1989 conviction of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and a 1996 conviction of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under the age of 13.

Hanner has been known in the Dowagiac culinary world for several years as the co-owner and general manager of downtown restaurant Wood Fire Trattoria. However, in court Wednesday, Hanner indicated he was currently receiving unemployment.

During court, Hanner’s bond was set a $60,000, and he was ordered to have no contact with the victim.

Hanner’s next court appearance is set for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 5.

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