Traverse City Record-Eagle

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May 16, 2013

Shananaquet to prison for 25-50 years

TRAVERSE CITY — Tyler Shananaquet expressed remorse for hitting a woman who sought a ride home after a Williamsburg bonfire party, but he maintained he didn't rape her.

Shananaquet, 21, of Williamsburg, on Thursday told 13th Circuit Court Judge Thomas Power he was ashamed of himself before Power sentenced him to 25 to 50 years in prison for the November attack and rape.

A jury in April found Shananaquet guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, and assault with intent to do bodily harm. He was sentenced to eight to 22 1/2 years for the second-degree criminal sexual conduct charges and eight to 15 years for assault with intent to do bodily harm. The sentences will be served concurrently.

Power called Shananaquet's Nov. 22 beating of the woman, 20, "vicious."

The victim said Shananaquet attacked her when she got in his truck after a bonfire in an open field. She said he hit her across the face, choked her and raped her. She required surgery for injuries that included a broken nose and cheek bone.

Shananaquet testified sex was consensual. He takes responsibility for hitting her, his attorney, Janet Mistele, said.

Shananaquet on Thursday said he "never hit a girl before" the incident.

Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Noelle Moeggenberg said testimony from two women who came forward after his arrest suggested otherwise. They alleged he sexually assaulted them, which Moeggenberg said was key to the conviction. Shananaquet was not charged in relation to their allegations.

Mistele said she filed a request for assignment of appellate counsel on Shananaquet's behalf.

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