Otsego County Sexual Assault Case Heading to Circuit Court

One of the largest cases of sexual assault in Otsego County is not being dismissed, but heading to circuit court.

9&10 News was in the courtroom Tuesday for Raymond Neeley Jr.’s preliminary hearing.

Neeley was facing 60 sex crime charges, but it took a turn last month after the alleged victim took her own life.

Northern Michigan’s News Leader was at Neeley’s last preliminary hearing two weeks ago, but that was postponed after a dispute started between the prosecution and defense.

The judge bound nine of Neeley’s 60 sex crime charges over to circuit court.

It’s not exactly what the prosecution wanted, but that means this case will now likely move towards trial.

“Do you solemnly swear the testimony you’re about to give in this matter be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” said Judge Michael Cooper.

The prosecution called five witnesses to the stand. The first three were all mental health professionals who met with the alleged victim before she took her own life.

“She told me from a very young age, all the way up to 18, she was severely sexually abused, physically abused,” said Derek Johnson, a mental health therapist.

All three painted a consistent picture of sexual abuse that they testified hearing directly from the alleged victim.

The defense continued to object, calling it hearsay.

“The court really has to go back, don’t think anyone in here disagrees, that the decedent was mentally unstable at the time,” argued Jesse Wiliams.

A family member of the alleged victim also took the stand, followed by the state trooper who was with her when they recorded a phone call between her and the defendant.

In the recorded call, the voice that police say is Ray Neeley expressed that he was sorry over and over again, and asked if the alleged victim was alone multiple times, but he never said exactly what he was sorry for.

The judge denied a bond reduction for Neeley.

He remains in jail on a $1 million bail and continues to deny all accusations.