Michigan state Senate
Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido.
Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido is accused of signing off on “a shady backroom deal” that may allow a man who severely beat his 10-week-old son to dodge jail time.
The boy’s brain injuries were so serious that he was placed on a ventilator for at least 10 days and underwent two life-saving surgeries on his skull, according to a sentencing memo.
The child “suffered from subdural hemorrhages, numerous and multilayered retinal hemorrhages, actual brain tissue injury and neck ligature injuries,” the memo states.
The man, Collin Quint, delayed taking the boy to the hospital, even though he was having seizures, according to the memo states.
“This defendant allowed this baby to continue to suffer after inflicting serious injuries to the child,” the memo states.
Because of the injuries, the child is still learning to crawl.
Quint pleaded no contest to second-degree child abuse on March 17 and is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday.
Lucido, a Republican and former state senator, bypassed the assistant prosecutor on the case and struck a deal with Quint’s attorney Art Garton, an arrangement that appears to violate the Macomb County Prosecutor Office’s policies. According to the policy
, neither the prosecutor nor his chief deputy is permitted to bypass the assistant prosecutor to reduce charges.
As part of the plea deal, the prosecutor’s office dropped a first-degree child abuse charge, which carries a stiffer jail sentence.
Garton, who is asking a judge to sentence his client to probation on the lesser charge, donated $600 to Lucido’s campaign on Nov. 3, and a partner at his firm Garton and Vogt contributed $500, according to campaign finance records
. Another attorney on the defense team, Denise Hirschmann, donated $750 to Lucido.
“Every child who has been abused – especially one as traumatically as this – deserves justice and no shady backroom deal should ever get in the way of that,” Emily Mellits, a Warren resident and member of the Macomb Accountability Project (MACAP), said in a statement. “If Mr. Lucido is willing to let people who violently abuse children off the hook to benefit his political friends, as it appears, then Macomb County families better start looking for a new prosecutor because the one we have now can’t be trusted.”
The assistant prosecutor in the case, Molly Zappitell, who is the head of the office’s Child Protection Unit, was caught off guard by the plea deal.
“I didn’t realize that counsel had spoken to, uh, my boss, Prosecutor Lucido, directly,” Zappitell told the judge, according to a court video recording.
In April, MACAP called on Lucido to resign
after a fourth woman publicly alleged he sexually assaulted or inappropriately touched her. The group said Lucido has demonstrated a pattern of sexual harassment and surrounds himself with abusers.
MACAP also established an online form
for alleged victims to share their stories.
Earlier this month, MACAP filed a complaint
with the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections, alleging Lucido violated state law by promoting the Republican Party on the official Facebook page of the prosecutor’s office.
couldn’t reach Lucido for comment.
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