Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Friday

January 17, 2014

Man guilty of sexually assaulting child

TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City man’s trial on accusations he sexually assaulted a 6-year-old girl ended with his conviction.

A 13th Circuit Court jury on Thursday spent three hours to find Nathon James Elzer, 32, of Grand Traverse County, guilty of all but one of the five counts of criminal sexual conduct he faced. Elzer’s charges carry a mandatory sentence of at least 25 years. A sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.

The victim’s grandmother Mary Coyne had two words after the jury weighed in:

“Relieved, justified.”

The case began on Aug. 12 when the victim, whose mother dated Elzer, told her babysitter about Elzer’s sexual abuse. The babysitter informed the victim’s mother, who sparked a Grand Traverse County sheriff’s department investigation that ultimately led to Elzer being charged with multiple sex crimes.

Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney said “justice was done” after a difficult trial that included graphic testimony from the child victim and three other witnesses, all adults, who recounted sexual abuse they suffered from Elzer when they were children.

“It’s an important case when a 6-year-old, or any child, is sexually abused,” he said. “The sad is part is the other victims who testified. Two in particular, their stories are horrific and they were both courageous to come in and testify.”

Elzer’s attorney Craig Elhart also said the case was “difficult.”

“No one is ever happy at the end of a case like this in any fashion,” Elhart said.

Cooney argued the victim’s story included details “too bizarre” for a child her age to fabricate or even know about. He said all the witnesses had only one motive to testify against Elzer: “Because he did it.”

Elhart argued in the trial that children don’t always lie, but do repeat what adults tell them. He noted the victim’s account of sexual acts performed by Elzer became more specific after two breaks in testimony.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Facebook Is Officially A Mobile Company 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Swiftair Loses Contact With Air Algerie Aircraft Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid