Derek Bailey Sentenced on Grand Traverse, Leelanau County Sex Crimes

“You are a predator, you’re a pedophile. You’re dangerous to other people.”

Strong words from the judge sentencing Derek Bailey on four sex crimes convictions.

Bailey stood before a packed Leelanau County courtroom this morning to hear how long he will spend in prison.

Deputies arrested Bailey last spring, on accusations that he sexually abused two girls.

The accusations led to charges in Grand Traverse and Leelanau County.

In November, Bailey was found guilty on two counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct in Leelanau County.

A Grand Traverse County jury found him guilty on two counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct in April.

Today, Judge Philip Rodgers sentenced Bailey to a minimum of 25 years in prison on the Grand Traverse County convictions.

As well as a minimum of 10 years on the Leelanau County convictions, which will be served concurrently.

9&10’s Caroline Powers has followed the case since the beginning. She shares how the victim’s family is moving on, and the judge’s action today.

“That is the public face that everyone saw, and if you weren’t inside someone with a bizarre sexual addiction or a pedophile, you perhaps would be continuing on to have a great career.”

Former Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Tribal Chairman, Derek Bailey, learned today he’ll spend at least the next 25 years locked up.

“Derek Bailey stands before the court now convicted of four counts of criminal sexual conduct. The public life he lived was a lie. He wasn’t a leader, but a bad example. He wasn’t a protector, he was an abuser,” says Doug Donaldson, Leelanau County Chief Assistant Prosecutor.

“The only way that this court can protect children, or society from someone like the defendant is to lock him up and make sure that he never again has the opportunity to hurt another child,” says Noelle Moeggenberg, Grand Traverse County Chief Assistant Prosecutor.

As people packed the courtroom to hear from Bailey, the victim’s mother touched on the emotional toll this past year has had on her family.

“He has no more power over us and our lives anymore,” says the victim’s mother. “There will be a time where I have forgiven him, because he will not keep me or my family in a prison of hate, anger and darkness. We will be free of that.”

Before the judge handed down his sentence, he made sure to address several statements Bailey made.

“Standing here shoulders back, head up, not out of arrogance. Standing proud for dignity. For perseverance,” Bailey said. “To have two all-white juries, with not a jury in my peer sir. When I see racist comments that were made in an opening statement by an assistant prosecutor, to me it’s a glaring example of the Jim Crow of the north, my situation. Those may be harsh words but I had to speak to them.”

“Narcissistic. Self-centered. Everything is about you. You can’t answer a simple question without going on and on about yourself,” says Judge Philip Rodgers. “They acquitted you on three counts. As did the Grand Traverse jury. To refer to these jurors, I don’t know if any of them are here, as representatives of the Jim Crow society I think was grossly unfair and unnecessary on your part and beneath you.”

Bailey’s supporters say they still have hope for his innocence and an appeal is coming.

“I urge him to file an appeal. He’s got some appealable issues that I think are excellent appealable issues that I know he’ll be doing,” says Craig Elhart, Bailey’s attorney.

“I don’t think the appeals going to go anywhere, but neither is he so he’s got nothing but time to pursue it,” Donaldson says.