Monday, January 1, 2007

Deputy Dale Van Wert - Bay SD





Bay County Sheriff Deputy Dale Van Wert was charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with his rape of a 13 year-old relative at his home between December 2006 and January 07, 2007.










Ex-deputy a sex offender
Friday, March 07, 2008
THE SAGINAW NEWS
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginawnews/index.ssf?/base/news25/1204903226111560.xml&coll=9

A former Bay County sheriff's deputy has received his punishment in a Saginaw court on charges he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in his care.

Dale P. Van Wert learned Thursday he will spend the next three years on probation.

Van Wert, 49, pleaded no contest to one count of attempted sexual assault.

Investigators said he sexually assaulted the teen at his Garfield Township home between Dec. 6, 2006, and Jan. 7, 2007.

Van Wert and his wife operated a foster care home for children from their home near Linwood.

As part of the probation, Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson ordered Van Wert to register as a sex offender, to undergo sexual abuse treatment, to not appear within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, arcades, playgrounds or anywhere else children gather, and not have contact with anyone younger than 17 unless an adult is present to supervise the visit.

Jackson handled the case because Bay County judges recused themselves. The crimes occurred in Bay County.

Jackson also ordered Van Wert to pay $840 in fees and fines and work a job at least 30 hours a week. He gave the former law man credit for the 413 days he already served in jail.

Van Wert's attorney, Matthew L. Reyes of Bay City, said his client was going to live with a brother in Bay County.

Van Wert didn't speak during the sentencing hearing.

''I'd like to know why you did this,'' the mother of the victim asked Van Wert in court. ''I need to know the reason. I don't understand why you threw your life away.''

Bay County Sheriff John Miller fired Van Wert in September 2006 amid allegations he used the Law Enforcement Information Network for his personal process-serving business and he did so while on duty for the sheriff's department.











Former sheriff's deputy gets three years probation
Friday, March 07, 2008
Bay City Times
http://www.mlive.com/news/bctimes/index.ssf?/base/news11/1204906518131170.xml&coll=4

A former Bay County sheriff's deputy has received his punishment in a Saginaw court on charges he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in his care.

Dale P. Van Wert learned Thursday he will spend the next three years on probation.

Van Wert, 49, pleaded no contest to one count of attempted sexual assault.

Investigators said he sexually assaulted the teen at his Garfield Township home between Dec. 6, 2006, and Jan. 7, 2007.

Van Wert and his wife operated a foster care home for children from their home near Linwood.

As part of the probation, Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson ordered Van Wert to register as a sex offender, to undergo sexual abuse treatment, to not appear within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, arcades, playgrounds or anywhere else children gather, and not have contact with anyone younger than 17 unless an adult is present to supervise the visit.

Jackson handled the case because Bay County judges recused themselves. The crimes occurred in Bay County.

Jackson also ordered Van Wert to pay $840 in fees and fines and work a job at least 30 hours a week. He gave the former law man credit for the 413 days he already served in jail.

Van Wert's attorney, Matthew L. Reyes of Bay City, said his client was going to live with a brother in Bay County.

Van Wert didn't speak during the sentencing hearing.

''I'd like to know why you did this,'' the mother of the victim asked Van Wert in court. ''I need to know the reason. I don't understand why you threw your life away.''

The woman said Van Wert's actions left her angry and confused.

Although she said she's having a difficult time coping with the ordeal and she's certain he committed the crime, the woman said she has forgiven Van Wert.

Bay County Sheriff John Miller fired Van Wert in September 2006 amid allegations he used the Law Enforcement Information Network for his personal process-serving business while on duty for the sheriff's department.














Ex-Deputy Learns Fate In Child Sex Assault
After Serving 14 Months, Van Wert Could Get Probation
WNEN- Channel 5 News
POSTED: 11:23 am EST March 6, 2008
UPDATED: 11:31 am EST March 6, 2008
http://www.wnem.com/news/15512728/detail.html

SAGINAW, Mich. -- A former Bay County sheriff’s deputy will be sentenced Thursday for a sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl.

Dale Van Wert’s first trial ended in a hung jury in December. He entered a no-contest plea last month.

Van Wert will register as a sex offender, and since he has been in custody for 14 months he could be released Thursday and placed on immediate probation.

The sentencing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in Saginaw County court







Van Wert pleads no contest in assault case
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
By CRYSTAL McMORRIS
The Bay City Times

A former Bay County Sheriff's deputy has pleaded no contest to a charge of attempted sexual assault and guilty to three counts of unauthorized use of the Law Enforcement Information Network.

Dale P. Van Wert entered the pleas Monday afternoon in Saginaw County Circuit Court, where Judge Darnell Jackson is handling the case due to recusal of Bay County judges. The crimes to which Van Wert pleaded occurred in Bay County. He faces up to 10 years in prison when sentenced March 6, but guidelines indicate a shorter sentence is likely.

Van Wert, who as a deputy was assigned to Bay County Court security, was accused of obtaining information through Central Dispatch for use in his own process-serving business while on duty in 2006

He also had been charged with several sex crimes alleging sexual assault of a 13-year-old at his Linwood-area home in 2006 and 2007. The more serious sex charges were dismissed as part of a plea bargain.

''You can lock a man up for 13 months with no bond, and eventually he's going to make decisions that are going to get him out of jail,'' said Matthew Reyes, Van Wert's defense attorney.

A jury in December was unable to reach a verdict after hearing several days of testimony about the alleged sexual assaults.

Bay County Prosecutor Kurt Asbury said he consulted with the victim and her mother and determined that it was ''in the best interest of the victim and the public to resolve this matter without another trial.''

Asbury said sentencing guidelines indicate that Van Wert may be released with time served, which will amount to about 14 months. Van Wert also will be required to register as a sex offender and will be placed on probation.

''Given all the circumstances of the case, and the fact that we tried to convict him previously, we're satisfied that he's been convicted of a very serious felony and will be a registered sex offender for life,'' Asbury said.

Reyes said Van Wert agreed to the plea bargain as a way of ''putting an end to the saga.''








Jury unable to reach verdict in sexual assault case of former deputy
Thursday, December 13, 2007
The Grand Rapids Press
By CRYSTAL McMORRIS
http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ssf?/base/news-10/1197562642159010.xml&coll=4


After a day-and-a-half of deliberation, a jury was unable to reach a verdict Wednesday in the sexual assault case against former Bay County sheriff's deputy Dale P. Van Wert.

A new trial will be scheduled next year. Attorneys for both sides said they were ''disappointed'' with the outcome.

Van Wert was charged with sexual assaults, including penetration, of a 13-year-old girl in his home on West Kitchen Road a year ago.

The jury of 10 women and two men debated after hearing evidence, including testimony from the alleged victim and from Van Wert, 49. The alleged victim said Van Wert sexually assaulted her 10 or more times in December 2006 and January 2007 while other children in the house were sleeping and Van Wert's wife was visiting family members.

The girl's DNA was found on a sex toy with which she said he assaulted her and Van Wert's thumbprint was found on the device. He said he and his wife used the object together and said he ''absolutely'' did not have sexual contact with the girl.















Van Wert may take stand today in sexual assault trial
The Bay City Times
Friday, December 07, 2007
http://www.mlive.com/baycity/stories/index.ssf?/base/news-10/119704429842870.xml&coll=4

Former Bay County Sheriff's Deputy Dale P. Van Wert may take the stand today in his own defense against six counts of alleged sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl.

The prosecution presented several witnesses on Thursday, including another teenage member of the Van Wert household. The girl said she'd noticed the alleged victim had begun spending a lot of time in the reclining chair with Van Wert after the other children in the house had gone to bed and Van Wert's wife was visiting relatives.

Dale Van Wert and his wife, Terri, had seven children, most of whom were adopted or were being fostered in their Kitchen Road home in Garfield Township. The alleged assaults of the 13-year-old began about a year ago and continued for around five weeks before the girl told a relative what had been happening.

The teen who testified Thursday said that once, when she came down the stairs, she saw Van Wert and the alleged victim covered by a blanket that was quickly adjusted when she entered the room. She did not say she'd ever seen any sexual activity occurring.

Miveita Mahanti, a Michigan State Police microbiologist, testified that tests of a sexual device with which Van Wert is accused of assaulting the victim, determined with near-certainty that the girl's DNA was on the device.

Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson limited how much detail could be admitted regarding pornography found on the family's home computer. None of the images found appeared to be home-made or depict minors. Defense attorney Kevin Rieman argued that showing the photos and movies would paint Van Wert as a ''pervert'' and prejudice the jury.

Van Wert faces up to life in prison if convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which involves penetration. His defense team has implied that he may take the stand in his own defense.

He also faces several felony charges involving allegations that he served papers within Bay County for private fees while on county time. He is being held in the Saginaw County Jail without bond.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Testimony begins in sexual assault trial of former deputy
Thursday, December 06, 2007
The Bay City Times
By Crystal McMORRIS
http://www.mlive.com/baycity/stories/index.ssf?/base/news-10/1196958104301960.xml&coll=4

Testimony began Wednesday in the trial of former Bay County Sheriff's Deputy Dale Van Wert on three counts of first-degree sexual assault and other charges involving a 13-year-old girl in his Linwood home.

Van Wert, 49, faces up to life in prison if convicted.

The alleged victim took the stand in the afternoon and described a five-week stretch of sexual assaults that started about a year ago. Now 14, the girl answered questions for more than an hour from Bay County Assistant Prosecutor J. Dee Brooks and defense attorney Matthew Reyes, at one point calling for a break to regain her composure.

Van Wert, who's been lodged in the Saginaw County Jail without bond since January, wore a tailored suit and stood up without being asked to when Saginaw County Judge Darnell Jackson asked the girl to identify him.

Jackson was assigned to handle the case, though the trial is being conducted in the Bay County Court Facility where Van Wert once worked as a security officer. Bay County Sheriff John E. Miller fired Van Wert after allegations arose regarding misuse of the Law Enforcement Information Network and conducting private process-serving business while on the county's dime. Van Wert was arrested in September 2006 on 11 felony counts in that matter.

Van Wert was free on his own recognizance, awaiting an evidence hearing on those charges when the alleged assaults occurred.

In the current trial, the jury will decide Van Wert's fate on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct - a life felony involving penetration - and three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year felony involving sexual contact with a minor.

The girl said it was not uncommon for her to sit on Van Wert's lap, but he began sexually touching her in early December and the abuse continued to escalate and included sexual penetration.

The victim was questioned repeatedly by Brooks on exact details regarding the assaults, which she said occurred between 10 and 20 times. She provided many details, but several times said she did not recall specific details about where the other six children - foster children or adopted children taken in by Van Wert and his wife, Terri - were at the time of the assaults.

Reyes inquired about why the victim couldn't remember specific dates of specific activities and suggested that she was fabricating the claims to get Van Wert removed from the home the family shared on West Kitchen Road in Garfield Township.

He asked the girl whether she had told a sister that she ''knows how the system works'' and would ''get rid of Dale.'' He also questioned her about her fondness for television shows like ''Law and Order.''

The girl said she indeed wanted to become a prosecutor and had job-shadowed with an assistant in the prosecutor's office. But she said those things had nothing to do with her reporting the alleged abuse.

Earlier in the day, Van Wert's wife, Terri, who has filed for divorce, testified about the girl disclosing the alleged abuse in January. Two Michigan State Police troopers also testified. The primary investigator in the case is Trooper Elizabeth Hunt.

Trooper Tiffany Robbins testified to transporting videos and sexual lubricants from the home on Jan. 20.

Trooper Mary Amend testified about cracking the safe in Van Wert's bedroom and seizing a box of pornographic video tapes, which she then watched at the post. Although the alleged victim testified that Van Wert never showed her pornography, the jury was allowed to hear about his collection. Amend said none of the videos appeared to include child-pornography.

She said the only home-made tapes in the safe were of family vacations and school plays and the like and included no sexual images.

Several of Van Wert's family members sat in the court room. The trial was to resume this morning.







Bay County Former sheriff's deputy to stand trial
Date: February 7, 2007
Publication: Bay City Times, The (MI) Page: A3

A former Bay County Sheriff's deputy will stand trial on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of second-degree CSC.

Dale Van Wert, 48, faces up to life in prison if convicted. Saginaw County District Judge M. Randall Jurrens bound the case over to Bay County Circuit Court for trial on Friday after hearing testimony from the alleged victim, a 13-year-old girl.

Van Wert also...

 
 
 
 
 
 
Former Bay County sheriff deputy back in court
Dale Van Wert charged with 11 felonies
By Jennifer Borrasso
BAY COUNTY (WJRT)
01/29/07
http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=local&id=4982705

A former Bay County sheriff's deputy was back in court Monday, charged with 11 felonies. And his legal problems don't stop there. Just last week he was charged with raping a teenage girl at his home.

Dale Van Wert was fired last year from the Bay County Sheriff's Department after being charged with 11 felonies.

Prosecutors say that while on duty, Van Wert collected fees and served papers for his private business, Court Integrity Services. They also say he signed false information on those papers.

Last year, ABC12 profiled Van Wert and his wife in their adoption of children who came from an abused home.

Monday it was a much different story. The former Bay County sheriff's deputy now has been charged with raping a 13-year-old girl at his home.

He was back in court for another case where he faces 11 felonies and is charged with conducting private business while on duty and then pocketing money that should have gone to the county.

The prosecutor pointed out that Van Wert tried to get information such as addresses about people he was trying to serve by calling Bay County 911.

"I don't see the connection that the information relayed to 911 was necessarily improper," said defense attorney Matt Reyes.

"You heard the 911 operator testify that no explanation is needed when requesting information."

Jeri Middleton testified that she took papers from Van Wert and personally delivered them to two jail inmates. "When you serve paper in the jail that you had signed on the line as the person who served, do you know why your signature is not contained on that?" she said.

"I asked Dale, 'Do you want me to sign this?' He said, 'Oh, yes.' I knew it was wrong. I didn't know. I just did what he said."

"I think at best what they've shown is maybe he signed the paperwork on the wrong line or maybe he should have had Ms. Middleton sign on the line above. I don't think that's forgery," Reyes said.

Van Wert is in the Saginaw County Jail stemming from the rape case.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Hearing set for former deputy
THE BAY CITY TIMES
Saginaw News
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
http://www.mlive.com/news/sanews/index.ssf?/base/news-4/116965745560940.xml&coll=9#continue

BAY CITY -- Authorities have scheduled an evidence hearing for a former Bay County sheriff's deputy now that a Saginaw County district judge has arraigned him on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a 13-year-old relative.

Judge M. Randall Jurrens -- who conducted the arraignment of Dale P. Van Wert, 48, of Garfield Township because Bay County's three district judges recused themselves -- ordered jailers to hold him without bond.

Paperwork authorizing the charges indicates authorities are accusing Van Wert of having intercourse with the girl and otherwise sexually assaulting her between Dec. 6 and Jan. 7.

Bay County Sheriff John Miller fired Van Wert last year after prosecutors claimed that, while performing security duties at the Bay County Court Facility, he conducted investigations, collected fees and served papers for his Court Integrity Services business.

Van Wert was free on his own recognizance while awaiting a Jan. 29 hearing on four counts of perjury, three counts of uttering and publishing, four counts of obtaining restricted information regarding vehicles and four counts of unauthorized use of information from the Law Enforcement Information Network. Other than the LIEN charges, conviction of the charges could carry penalties of up to 15 years in prison.

Bay County Sheriff John Miller fired Van Wert last year after prosecutors claimed that, while performing security duties at the Bay County Court Facility, he conducted investigations, collected fees and served papers for his Court Integrity Services business.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
Former deputy charged with raping 13-year-old
The Bay City Times
By CRYSTAL HARMON
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
http://www.mlive.com/news/bctimes/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1169568948196240.xml&coll=4

A former Bay County Sheriff's deputy, fired last year after being charged with 11 felonies alleging he ran a private business while on duty, was charged on Monday with raping a 13-year-old girl.

Dale P. Van Wert, 48, of Garfield Township, was arraigned in Saginaw County on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. If convicted, Van Wert faces up to life in prison. The Saginaw County judge, conducting the arraignment after Bay County's three district judges recused themselves, ordered Van Wert held without bond.

Although moot in light of the fact that Van Wert cannot be bonded out, he's ordered to have no contact with children under the age of 18. His bond for the previous charges was raised to $150,000.

Although no police report was contained in Van Wert's new criminal file at the Bay County Court Facility, paperwork authorizing the charges indicates that Van Wert is accused of having sexual intercourse with the girl and otherwise sexually assaulting her at his home at 1251 W. Kitchen Road between Dec. 6 and Jan. 7.

Van Wert is scheduled to face an evidence hearing in Bay County District Court on those charges on Jan. 29 before a visiting judge who will be assigned by the State Court Administrator's Office.

Potential witnesses listed in court records include the victim, Van Wert's wife, an official from the Midland County Department of Human Services, and three Michigan State Police officers.

Van Wert had been free on his own recognizance while awaiting a Jan. 29 evidence hearing on four counts of perjury, three counts of uttering and publishing, four counts of obtaining restricted information regarding vehicles and four counts of unauthorized use of information from the Law Enforcement Information Network. Other than the LIEN charges, the others are felonies, with penalties of up to 15 years in prison.

In those charges, prosecutors alleged that Van Wert, while on duty assigned as security to the Bay County Court Facility, did investigations, collected fees and served papers for his private business, Court Integrity Services.

Van Wert made an unsuccessful bid for a seat on the Bay County Board of Commissioners in 2006.

Van Wert and his wife, Terri, a former Bay County District Court employee, have five children and also operate a licensed foster care home in Linwood, sheltering children, including those who've been abused and neglected by their biological parents.

Bay County Sheriff John Miller suspended Van Wert with pay in July during an investigation into the allegations of misconduct on the job and fired him in September when he refused to explain his activities, the sheriff said last fall.

Van Wert has operated Court Service Integrity, a business that serves court papers, such as subpoenas, summons, small claims, eviction orders and divorce papers, to defendants and witnesses in legal disputes.

The sheriff's deputies often serve court papers for a fee ranging from $10 to $30 plus mileage.

Miller alleged that Van Wert often conducted his private business while on duty, which was a conflict of interest, and that he pocketed the money for serving the papers which should have gone to the county. The Times was unable to reach Van Wert's attorney, Matthew L. Reyes, for comment this morning. Reyes told a television reporter at the arraignment on Monday that Van Wert is not guilty.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Former sheriff's deputy faces felony charges
The Bay City Times
By TIM YOUNKMAN
Saturday, September 30, 2006
http://www.mlive.com/news/bctimes/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1159611305232300.xml&coll=4

A former Bay County Sheriff's deputy on Friday was arraigned in Bay County District Court on 15 misdemeanor and felony counts stemming from collecting fees for serving court papers on county time.

Dale P. Van Wert, 48, of Garfield Township, has been dismissed from the Bay County Sheriff's Office, said Sheriff John E. Miller. If convicted, Van Wert faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Miller said he conducted a hearing on accusations of misconduct within the department but Van Wert would not answer questions or explain his activities. As a result, he was fired.

Van Wert and his Bay City attorney Matt Reyes declined comment after the arraignment in which Van Wert demanded a preliminary examination on the charges against him. No date for that hearing was set but a conference of attorneys and District Judge Craig Alston will be held Nov. 9.

Van Wert was allowed to remain free on his own recognizance. Bay County Prosecutor Kurt Asbury, who was in the courtroom at the arraignment Friday, declined comment.

In a recent interview with The Times, Van Wert - who was a candidate for a seat on the Bay County Board of Commissioners - was critical of the Sheriff's Department management structure. He was defeated in a primary election in August.

The sheriff's deputies often serve court papers for a fee ranging from $10 to $30 plus mileage but Van Wert has operated a private company called Court Service Integrity for 10 years, a business that also serves court papers, such as subpoenas, summonses, small claims papers, eviction notices and divorce papers to defendants and witnesses in legal disputes.

Miller charged that Van Wert often conducted his private business while on duty, which was a conflict of interest, and that he pocketed the money for serving the papers which should have gone to the county.

Van Wert has been charged with four counts of perjury, three counts of uttering and publishing, four counts of making false certification under the vehicle code (obtaining restricted information) and four counts of unauthorized use of information from the Law Enforcement Information Network. All of the charges are felonies except those involving the LEIN information, court documents show.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Baby beats odds after abuse, finds new home
Family adopts 2 new children
BAY COUNTY (WJRT)
(09/27/06)
http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=local&id=4604662

It was New Years Day 2005 when we told you about a 1-month-old baby boy that was taken to Bay Medical Center. Police say the baby was abused; doctors thought he might not survive.

But the baby did survive. He'll turn 2 years old in November, and Wednesday, he got new parents.

The baby was Bryce Rangel, and at the time of his arrival at the hospital, his short life seemed so unfair.

In July of 2005, the parental rights of Rangel and his sister Madison were taken away from the biological parents.

Police say the parents were uncooperative in explaining Rangel's injuries.

His dad, Gabriel Rangel, would later go to jail on other charges, but died earlier this year in jail from a drug overdose.

Bryce Rangel survived his injuries. He and his sister were put in foster care, and Wednesday in a Bay County courtroom, their foster parents adopted both children.

Dale and Terri Van Wert now have nine children altogether. Bryce and Madison's new sister Sheila was also adopted.

Bryce will have challenges the rest of his life, but at least he has one, which at times, seemed remote at best, and now he has a new family.

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