Traverse City Record-Eagle

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January 8, 2013

Downstate man charged with criminal sexual conduct

Matthew Lee Tanner charged in GT after allegedly assaulting young girl

TRAVERSE CITY — A downstate man faces a pair of felony charges after police said he sexually assaulted a young girl.

Matthew Lee Tanner, 26, of Rothbury, is charged in Grand Traverse County with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The charge carries a potential penalty of life in prison.

Michigan State Police believe Tanner, who used to live in the Grawn area of Grand Traverse County, sexually assaulted a girl on two occasions while she lived with him in 2010. The girl, now 6, lived in Tanner's home with her mother.

A child protective services worker relayed information about the alleged crime to police in August. Police tracked down Tanner for an interview. He initially denied any wrongdoing, police reports said, but later admitted to some of the activity described by the victim.

Tanner was convicted as a juvenile of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in Oceana County in 2002, a police report and Oceana County officials said. That charge stemmed from allegations he had inappropriate contact with another young female victim.

Tanner hadn't been arrested on the new charge Monday and couldn't be reached for comment.

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