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Former Fabius Township Supervisor Sentenced in 2010 Cold Case Sexual Assault

LANSING – Yesterday, former Fabius Township Supervisor Kenneth Dwayne Linn, 58, of Three Rivers, was sentenced to 19 to 50 years' incarceration for a sexual assault committed in 2010, announced Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting. Linn was found guilty of four counts of First-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct by a Kalamazoo County jury in March following a cold-case investigation led by the Kalamazoo County Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) team. 

Sentencing was presided over by Judge Kenneth Barnard in the 9th Circuit Court in Kalamazoo County.

“Our SAKI units in Kalamazoo and across the State perform incredible work in our pursuit of justice in cold-case sexual assaults,” said Nessel at the time of Linn’s conviction. “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 at the time of Linn’s conviction. “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. 

The woman appeared at sentencing and read aloud a victim impact statement, telling the Court, “No amount of time will erase the scars that he left behind. There is no going back to who I was before. I will always feel the need to protect myself. I will always be extra-cautious because I know I’m vulnerable. But I won’t let the fear stop me from living a happy life, it just means I do it differently now.”    

When sentencing Linn, Judge Barnard said, “One of the joys of being a judge is seeing someone stand up for themselves the way this victim did against someone who had the whole backing of society and their community.”   

He later added the sentence he imposed “will never undo the harm suffered by the victim,” but will account for essentially the rest of the defendant’s life to be spent in prison. 

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 cases 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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