Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

May 18, 2013

Man facing sex charges

TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City man who faces child abuse and criminal sexual conduct charges also is accused of attempting to assault authorities who tried to arrest him.

Jason Lee Bright, 35, this week was arraigned on charges of third-degree child abuse and assaulting and resisting a law enforcement officer. Prosecutors later charged Bright with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct on separate allegations.

The criminal sexual conduct charges stemmed from a November 2012 incident, when a woman said Bright beat and raped her, according to court documents. The victim said Bright threatened to kill her when she screamed during the alleged assault.

In the abuse case, Bright struck a female relative, 15, across her face after an argument, according to court documents. He then allegedly sat atop her chest, covered her mouth with his hand, slapped her again and grabbed her by the neck.

The teen was able to free herself and sit against her bed, but Bright continued to hit her, the documents state.

“She does not recall how many times she was smacked but thought she may have passed out, and she recalls a ringing in her ears after the first smack,” the document states.

Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputies interviewed Bright about the incident.

“I was only trying to get my point across to her,” he told investigators, according to the court document.

The victim had bruises on her neck, ears and body. Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney said third-degree child abuse requires physical harm to a child.

“It doesn’t have to be serious harm, but causing harm knowingly or intentionally,” he said.

The police report notes Bright made several “strange comments” to investigators, including claiming he was psychic and “a Jesus.”

Bright became upset and screamed when deputies placed him under arrest. Capt. Dave Meachum said Bright failed to comply with the arrest.

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