By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
SOUTHGATE — Former Southgate police officer Emmanuel Paravas and his attorney hope for post-Independence Day freedom when a motion to overturn a misconduct conviction is heard next month.
Defense counsel Michael Rataj said Friday that a July 5 hearing is scheduled before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Annette Berry to request that the conviction and one- to five-year prison sentence be overturned.
“We filed a motion for a directed verdict,” Rataj said. “An acquittal of count two, misconduct in office.”
Paravas was found guilty on June 7 of misconduct in office, a potential five-year felony, and was acquitted of criminal sexual conduct. The charges stemmed from a sexual encounter Paravas had with a woman he met while respond-
ing to a domestic disturbance call in February 2011.
Rataj expects to file another motion this week to release Paravas on bond while the conviction is appealed. Both motions will be heard July 5. Rataj said that if Berry rejects his motions he plans to take the matter to a higher court.
“It has to first be taken to the trial judge before we can present arguments to the Court of Appeals,” Rataj said.
Rataj said that the conviction — misconduct in office — has previously been overruled by the Court of Appeals, and that Berry sentenced Paravas as if he’d been found guilty of criminal sexual conduct.
Berry sentenced Paravas to one to five years in prison for misconduct; criminal sexual conduct is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected])