Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Thursday

April 25, 2013

Man accused of sexual assault

TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City man who allegedly had sexual contact with a teenage female relative could face life imprisonment if convicted.

Paul Albert Draper, 45, was arraigned Wednesday in 86th District Court on two felony counts of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct. The first-degree charge carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Police reports state the victim said she woke in her bed on Nov. 25 to Draper inappropriately touching her. She said she pretended be asleep and shifted away, but the assault continued.

“She then acted like she was waking up which caused the defendant to get up and leave,” the court documents state.

The victim contacted acquaintances through social media; a relative then contacted authorities, who arrived soon after the incident and took a DNA swab of Draper’s hands to find evidence of sexual contact.

“DNA from the evidence we took confirmed the allegations of the victim,” said Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Dave Meachum.

Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney said criminal sexual conduct charges are determined by a several factors, including the victim’s age and whether penetration occurred. He said the fact the victim is related to Draper was an aggravating factor in the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge.

The teen told investigators she believed Draper had been drinking because he had not previously behaved that way. A portable breath sample taken about two hours after the incident indicated Draper had a .158 blood-alcohol content.

Draper was being held Wednesday in Grand Traverse County Jail on a $250,000 bond. He is not allowed to have contact with the victim or anyone under the age of 18. A preliminary examination is scheduled for May 8 at 11 a.m.

Draper also appeared in court Wednesday on for a pretrial conference on other charges, including resisting a police officer and domestic violence. That incident took place April 5 and involved violence against a male household resident. His attorney on that case, David Clark, could not be reached for comment.

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