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Ingham/Jackson Regional SAKI Unit Secures Jury Conviction of Lansing Man in 2012 Cold-Case Sexual Assault
December 06, 2023
LANSING – Friday, December 1st, an Ingham County Jury found Marshawn James Curtis, 30, of Lansing, guilty of First-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in a 2012 cold-case rape investigation and prosecution by the Ingham/Jackson Regional Sexual Assault Team, announced Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Ingham County Prosecutor John Dewane.
The investigation into Curtis, brought as part of the state’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), began with a single victim of a 2012 rape. This investigation led to the discovery of three other women who allege instances of being followed by Curtis between 2018 and 2020, who then in each instance allegedly masturbated before them. The jury conviction Friday followed an investigation by the Ingham/Jackson Regional Sexual Assault Team, comprised of investigators from both the Ingham and Jackson County prosecutors’ offices, and a Trial Team Prosecution in collaboration with the Department of Attorney General.
“The work of our State’s SAKI units is indispensable in securing justice and peace of mind for assault survivors throughout the state, and putting behind bars often-serial offenders who have eluded the criminal justice system for years,” said Nessel. “I am grateful for the efforts of the Ingham/Jackson regional team and the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office on this case, and proud of the successes our SAKI units statewide accomplish in difficult cold-case prosecutions.”
“This case is one more example of why Michigan’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative is so important for local prosecutor’s offices to be able to prosecute cold case sexual assaults,” said Prosecutor John Dewane of Ingham County. “Sexual assaults often involve serial offenders and can be difficult to investigate. With specialized training and experience, our SAKI team was able to gather evidence and achieve justice for these survivors. I commend the hard work and dedication of our SAKI team as I believe this conviction has prevented numerous future assaults.”
Curtis will be sentenced before Judge James Jamo in the 30th Circuit Court in Ingham County on February 14th, 2024. First-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is a potential life-sentence offense.
The State’s SAKIwas established to investigate and prosecute sexual assaults related to previously untested sexual assault evidence kits. The SAKI project provides sexual assault victims with the opportunity to have their case re-investigated in a comprehensive, trauma-informed manner. With the assistance of Lansing Police Department – Capital Area Response Effort (C.A.R.E.) program services, and Advocates from the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, the Ingham County team was in contact with the sexual assault survivors during this investigation and court process. In fiscal year 2023, the legislature again appropriated money to the Attorney General’s office to provide funding to SAKI projects in Kalamazoo, Ingham, Jackson, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. The SAKI Project also receives funding through the Department of State Police federal SAKI grant award.