By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
SOUTHGATE — Former Southgate police officer Emmanuel Paravas was granted bond by the Michigan Court of Appeals and will remain free while defense attorney Michael Rataj presents arguments seeking to overturn his conviction.
Paravas, 44, was convicted in June of misconduct in office, one of several charges stemming from an encounter the officer had with a woman involved in a domestic argument at a local hotel.
After a jury acquitted Paravas on charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and neglect of duty, Rataj said Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Annette Berry’s sentence of one to five years in prison was made as if he had been found guilty.
“She sentenced him as if he was convicted of CSC,” Rataj said following the June sentencing. “It’s outrageous.”
Rataj appealed the sentencing and requested a new trial. According to Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller, Berry denied Rataj’s motion on Aug. 21 as well as the request for bond while the sentence was appealed.
“The sentencing guidelines calls for zero to three months,” Rataj said, “which is probation. The count he was found guilty of is not a criminal cause action. We tried to have it dismissed and the judge refused. The Court of Appeals has said there is no such action as misconduct in office.”
Rataj was then able to submit motions before the Michigan Court of Appeals, which earlier this month approved bond while the sentence appeal proceeds.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected].)