CHIPPEWA COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY
On Aug. 11, 2022, Arthur Laundry Jr. was found guilty by a jury of his peers to criminal sexual conduct in the 3rd degree and criminal sexual conduct in the 4th degree. His sentencing will be held in the 50th Circuit Court in Sault Ste. Marie on Nov. 1, 2022. He faces up to 30 years in prison.
Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jillian Sadler presented this case to the jury along with the assistance of Detective Sergeant Darrell Harp from the City of Sault Ste. Marie Police Department. The jurors heard from multiple witnesses who shared that in 2021, Mr. Laundry took advantage of a special needs individual and used predatory conduct to ultimately sexually assault her.
Most concerning about this case is that at the time of this offense in 2021, the defendant was on parole for the same crime against the same special needs victim. In 2012 (nine years prior) the defendant sexually assaulted this individual and was sentenced to prison. The Michigan Department of Corrections granted him parole in 2020, and by April of 2021 he once again gained access to the same individual and sexually assaulted that person again. This is actually the third time this defendant has been convicted of sexual assault. The first offense occurred in 2004 in Chippewa County, and the defendant was sentenced to prison for that offense as well.
“The trauma Mr. Laundry has inflicted on our community is unacceptable and sadly this last crime could have been avoided.” said Prosecutor Robert Stratton. He went on to explain “this is part of a disturbing trend where the Michigan Department of Corrections is paroling violent offenders and sexual offenders at the earliest possible moment. Over the past two years, my office has received word of several individuals previously convicted of murder and sexual assault being released on parole in Chippewa County. The Department is not obligated to release them, but is doing so regularly at this point. Unfortunately, that means that Chippewa County and the rest of the state will continue to see victimization of our citizens as more violent offenders are returned unnecessarily to the streets early. We will continue to do everything possible to fight for victims and hold offenders responsible, but it is important to note that my office can only prosecute after a crime has occurred. Other agencies have the ability to prevent crime, and it is disappointing to see so many people put at risk. I am very thankful to the Sault Ste. Marie Police Department, and the local MDOC parole agent who were able to intervene and remove this person from the streets as soon as the crime was detected to prevent any further assaults by this sexual predator.”
According to Chief Bierling, “the men and women of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Department work tirelessly every day to prevent crime and victimization in our community. Having a parole system that supports their efforts, not contradicts them, is critical. This case should sound the alarm that there is much more work to be done with the parole component of our justice system. When it comes to crimes such as criminal sexual conduct, a line must be drawn in the sand much wider and deeper. I thank and commend Detective Sergeant Darrell Harp and Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jillian Sadler for their tenacious dedication to this case in bringing a habitual sexual predator to justice, once again.”
Sexual assault is devastating to not only the victim of the crime, but also to those who care for them. Sexually assaulting a special needs person is not only reprehensible, but also is exceedingly difficult to prove because of the limitations of the victim- both cognitively and through communication abilities. Community support is essential when it comes to persons with special needs. It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, but it is also important that the community work together to protect the most vulnerable among us. If you see something out of the ordinary regarding a person with special needs, please reach out to law enforcement. Early detection of victimization may prevent devastating results. Prevention is better than prosecution. We ask for your help every day in this.