TRAVERSE CITY — Jurors took five hours to deliver a verdict that likely will send a Rapid City man to prison for the rest of his life.
Ryan Lowell Bailey, 30, was found guilty on four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Grand Traverse County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg said three of Bailey's female relatives testified he sexually assaulted them between 2002 and 2008.
"It was one niece and other two great-nieces," Moeggenberg said. They are now aged 17, 19 and 19.
The two great-nieces testified Bailey abused them almost a daily basis when worked with their father and lived in the same home. One said she was afraid reporting the abuse would break apart her family.
Moeggenberg said the abuse came to light when the youngest victim saw Bailey sit with a young niece on his lap at a family party in April 2012. The victim reported the abuse shortly afterward, but authorities didn't file charges until April this year after one victim returned to the United States from Saipan.
"We didn't authorize charges until we had all three victims on board," she said.
The trial began Tuesday in 13th Circuit Court and jury deliberations Wednesday wrapped up at about 7:30 p.m. Bailey's defense attorney Paul Jarboe said the five-hour deliberations showed jurors had doubt about the verdict. He said the Aug. 16 sentencing may not be his client's last day in court.
"He maintains his innocence and I would anticipate an appeal of the jury's verdict," he said.
Bailey was found guilty of three counts of criminal sexual conduct with a person under the age of 13 and one count of criminal sexual conduct with a person with a family relationship. All charges carry a potential life sentence and one has a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years.
Moeggenberg praised the jury for their long deliberation and verdict.
"The jury was very, very invested in the trial," she said. "Basically, they put their heart and soul into it."