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Crimes and punishments

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Craig Gonser can't be charged in a 1994 sexual assault he's suspected of, but authorities are proceeding with a trial to declare him a sexually delinquent person in the wake of two other convictions last week.

If Gonser is found guilty, Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith says he'll ask the judge "to take him off the streets for many years."

Smith says DNA testing matched Gonser, 41, to a 1994 rape in Clinton Township for which another man, Kenneth Wyniemko, served nearly a decade in prison before being exonerated by genetic testing.

Police in Cheboygan County last year arrested Gonser on domestic violence charges, and the Michigan State Police lab matched his DNA sample with the evidence in the unsolved rape. Court records say Gonser was on probation for two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct at the time of the 1994 rape. 

But Smith can't charge him in the 1994 attack because the statute of limitations had expired. Last year, however, he charged Gonser with exposing himself to his then 20-month-old daughter. A jury found him guilty last week.

Because of his record, Gonser, who is in the Macomb County Jail, now faces charges of being a sexually delinquent person. If convicted, Smith says, he could spend years in prison. A preliminary exam is scheduled for Thursday. Wyniemko attended Gonser's trial and plans to be there for any future hearings. "It's not an easy feeling, but I was happy with the results," Wyniemko says. "I'm still upset that he can't be charged with the rape but I think it's good for the public that he'll be off the streets."

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or NewsHits@metrotimes.com

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