BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) - A woman sentenced for molesting her adopted son should not get anew trial, said a ruling released Wednesday from the Michigan Courtof Appeals.
The court overturned a Calhoun County court's decision to grantLorinda Swain a new trial.
In 2002, Swain was convicted of sexually assaulting her son,Ronnie, and she was sentenced to between 25 and 50 years in prison.Ronnie recanted his story in 2006.
Reached by phone, Ronnie told 24 Hour News 8: "I've doneeverything I can. I've told the truth. Why can't they just let hergo? It's not right. I lied years ago, but why should she have to bepunished for it?"
Swain maintained her innocence and fought for years for a newtrial.
Last year, a Calhoun County judge heard testimony from newwitnesses, and not only ordered a new trial, but set Swain free onbond.
The judge went as far to say that with the new evidence, hedidn't think Swain would be convicted again.
The prosecutor appealed, leading to Wednesday's ruling from theCourt of Appeals.
The appeals judges concluded Swain's case didn't meet thestandard needed to justify a second appeal -- or that newtrial.
And the judges said just because Swain's original lawyers didn'tcall those new witnesses -- doesn't mean they were'ineffective.'
Swain was shocked by the decision.
"So, I just hold onto this tiny, thin thread that I have beenholding onto for 10 years now," Swain said. "And that is the factthat I am innocent.
"It's undescribable, but as bad as it is, at least I am not inprison."
The judge could revoke her bond, but has said he won't do sounless the prosecutor asks for it.
"It's unbelievable to me," Swain said. "I don't know how I donethe time I did in prison, and I surely do not know how I could goback."
For the past 10 months, Swain has been living at home with herparents.
"I think we will win," said George Johnson, Swain's father. "Idon't know how, but she is innocent, and someone innocent shouldnot have to go to prison for 25 to 50 years."
Bridget McCormack of Innocence Project, a legal group from theUniversity of Michigan that represented Swain, said her group isdisappointed in the ruling and plans to appeal to the MichiganSupreme Court.
24 Hour News 8 has not heard yet from prosecutors or CalhounCounty court officials.
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