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December 10, 2012

Man accused of raping woman at party

TRAVERSE CITY — A man accused of raping a young woman at a bonfire party in Williamsburg was on felony probation at the time of the offense.

Tyler Allen Shananaquet, 21, of Williamsburg, is charged with first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct for a Nov. 22 assault. Grand Traverse County sheriff’s investigators arrested Shananaquet on Dec. 6 on charges he severely beat, then raped a woman, 20, who accepted a ride home from him after they met at a Williamsburg bonfire party.

The woman told detectives she entered a man’s vehicle and was sending a text message to a friend when the suspect grabbed her phone, threw it to the ground and punched her in the face.

“He then punched the victim in the face repeatedly, causing severe bruises and lacerations,” police reports state.

The woman said the man then sexually assaulted her. She was driven to a home a few doors down from her residence and dropped off. The victim immediately told her parents and they contacted authorities.

The victim identified her attacker as Shananaquet through a Facebook photo. Detectives searched Shananaquet’s vehicle and found a bracelet that belonged to the woman, police reports state. Reports also indicate a witness told police they saw Shananaquet that night after the alleged attack with blood on his face but with no visible injuries.

Court records in 86th District and 13th Circuit court show Shananaquet is a convicted felon and on probation for a larceny conviction in Antrim County. He also has a significant juvenile record with convictions for illegal entry, assault and battery and home invasion second-degree.

Shananaquet pleaded guilty to the larceny charge as an adult in May 2009 in Antrim County and was sentenced to four months in the Antrim County Jail. He was placed on probation for 18 months.

Conditions of probation included no use or possession of alcohol and no assaultive/abusive behavior. Court records indicate while on probation, he was subject to six different court orders regarding unpaid fees and fines.

Sheriff’s Capt. Dave Meachum said Shananaquet pleaded guilty to minor in possession of alcohol last March.

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