Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 3, 2013

TC man sentenced to 15 years for sex crime

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City man is headed to prison after he admitted he sexually assaulted a female relative, but maintains he can’t remember committing the crime.

Paul Albert Draper, 45, on Friday was sentenced to a maximum 15-year prison term after he pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct and assault with intent to commit penetration. The plea agreement saved him from potential life imprisonment.

The victim told investigators she awoke in November to Draper inappropriately touching her. Defense attorney David Clark told 13th Circuit Court Judge Philip Rodgers that Draper consumed alcohol, smoked marijuana and took sleeping pills that evening. He said Draper had a history of “sleep disorders” and strange actions while sleepwalking.

“Had I been sober and awake, it would not have happened,” Draper said.

But Chief Assistant Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg said Draper’s admission didn’t go far enough. Draper claimed the victim falsely claimed physical abuse in the past and he entertained the possibility she somehow falsified the DNA evidence against him.

“There is still a lot of blaming the victim today,” Moeggenberg said.

Rodgers said the crime was “abhorrent” and sentenced Draper to serve concurrent sentences. The minimum sentence is 4 years and the maximum is 15 years.