Rejected appeal could set bad precedent, two Michigan justices say

DETROIT (AP) - Two Michigan Supreme Court justices warn that the conviction of a Detroit-area man could give prosecutors a green light to pursue parents for "truly innocuous" acts.

In a 5-2 order, the court recently rejected an appeal from an ex-police officer convicted of telling a girl to place her finger in her vagina. He says he was instructing a friend's daughter about tampons.

Randall Overton is serving 25 years in prison.

Justice Bridget McCormack says Overton's overall behavior "makes him entirely unsympathetic." But she says a first-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction was wrong because he didn't penetrate the victim.

McCormack says she's looking at the bigger picture. She says mothers instructing daughters about hygiene could be vulnerable to prosecution.

Justice Michael Cavanagh joined McCormack in dissent before retiring Jan. 1.

Published: Mon, Jan 12, 2015