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Jury Convicts Former Fabius Township Supervisor of Criminal Sexual Conduct

LANSING – Yesterday, a Kalamazoo County jury returned guilty verdicts on four counts of First-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct against former Fabius Township Supervisor Kenneth Dwayne Linn, 58, of Three Rivers, announced Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting. As part of the statewide Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), the prosecution was led by Erin House of the Kalamazoo County SAKI team. The assaults occurred in 2010.

The two-week trial before Judge Kenneth Barnard in the 9th Circuit Court in Kalamazoo County began on March 12th and concluded March 20th, with jury deliberations beginning yesterday, March 21st. The jury returned verdicts after deliberating for less than three hours. Linn will be sentenced on April 16th. Each charge is punishable by up to life in prison. 

“Our SAKI units in Kalamazoo and across the State perform incredible work in our pursuit of justice in cold-case sexual assaults,” said Nessel. “These are often very difficult investigations and prosecutions, and our talented SAKI teams rise to the occasion time and again. I am thankful for their efforts and our partnership with Prosecutor Getting in securing these convictions, and to the victim in this case, who showed great courage and strength in her testimony as she sought justice all these years later.”

“I am incredibly proud of the work done by the Kalamazoo SAKI team,” added Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Getting. “This trial was the culmination of hundreds of hours of work by dedicated investigators, victim advocates, and attorneys. With their help and support, a survivor of sexual assault has seen that the system works. The man who took advantage of her, who hurt her, will now be sent to prison for his actions.”

After a golf outing at a St. Joseph County course in August 2010, Linn volunteered to look after and take home an extremely intoxicated golf course employee who had been consuming alcohol alongside and with the encouragement of Linn and other golfers. At a residence in Portage, Linn engaged in numerous sexually penetrative acts with the young female victim when she was physically helpless due to extreme intoxication and unable to give consent. The victim has no memory of the sex acts but suffered physical injury and DNA evidence collected from her person later identified Linn.

An exam was performed the day after the assault, though the kit was not submitted for lab testing until years later. The kit was submitted to an out of state private DNA lab in 2016 as part of the state-wide sexual assault kit testing initiative. At that time a suspect DNA profile was not developed. In October of 2021, the Kalamazoo SAKI unit received approval from the Michigan State Police Forensics Lab to resubmit the victim’s kit for further testing based upon advances in DNA testing. This additional testing identified Linn’s DNA on the victim’s cervical smears in 2022 and he was charged in October of that year.

At trial, the victim and numerous witnesses testified to the victim’s vulnerable state both before and after Linn transported her from the golf course to her home. The victim further testified that she suffered extreme mental anguish immediately after and in the fourteen years since she was assaulted.

The state’s SAKI was established in 2016 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. The Kalamazoo SAKI is a collaborative project of the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office and the YWCA of Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo SAKI Team is in the process of investigating more than 200 cold-case sexual assaults that occurred in Kalamazoo County between 1976 and 2015.  

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.


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