Shawn Christopher Kreager, 42, of East Jordan was sentenced to 100 months to 15 years in prison following his conviction on three counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct, Second Degree.
Kreager was convicted following a jury trial on December 7 and 8, 2015. Witnesses testified that Kreager sexually assaulted an eight-year old child on two separate occasions in the summer of 2015.
Judge Roy C. Hayes III exceeded the recommended minimum sentence guideline range which called for 43 to 86 months in prison, stating that the guidelines did not take into account the particular heinous nature of the Defendant’s actions.
“This brave little girl had the courage to talk to a lot of people about something very personal that had happened to her, and eventually had to tell 13 strangers in a jury box about it in an open courthouse,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “She did the right thing and was so strong and courageous and the verdict and the sentence show that our system can work as it is intended. The judge rightly focused on punishment for this Defendant and protection of all of our children from this person.”
“Officer Brent Seese of the East Jordan Police Department was the officer in charge in the case and he immediately brought Deputy Rob Scholey of the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Department to assist on the case as he has specialized training in interviewing child victims. This was a key to the case, as was the follow up investigation by Child Protective Services.”
Constance Jeannette Nowka, 85, of East Jordan was sentenced to six months probation and 250 hours of community service, in lieu of 90 days in jail, following her conviction on a charge of embezzlement $1,000 or more but less than $20,000.
Nowka pled no contest to the charge on December 4, 2015 and in exchange three identical charges were dismissed.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed in the case and utilized by the Court for the no contest plea, as of January 15, 2014, Nowka was court appointed as guardian and/or conservator for 28 different wards of the Court.
The Michigan State Police investigation revealed that Nowka had taken wards’ funds for her personal use in three different ways – writing checks to herself from the wards’ accounts, writing checks to the ward from their own account but then depositing them into her account and depositing third party checks payable to the wards, such as tax refunds, insurance proceeds and disability, into her own account.
Pleadings filed in the case alleged that 16 people in total were victimized by Nowka.
In passing sentence, Judge Roy C. Hayes III termed it a “troubling case” that was “shocking” and “disturbing.” The judge said that due to the Defendant’s age no good would come to anyone from a jail term.
He also emphasized that Nowka had repaid all of her victims, according to probate court records and had no prior criminal history. Nowka did not speak at the sentencing hearing.
“Our primary concerns were ensuring that no other vulnerable people would be victimized and that they would be made financially whole,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “This Defendant has had all of her guardianships revoked by the Courts and this felony on her record should ensure that she never handles money for any other person in the future.”