People v. Squires

CourtSupreme Court of Michigan
Writing for the CourtGRAVES, C.J.
Citation13 N.W. 828,49 Mich. 487
Decision Date31 October 1882

13 N.W. 828

49 Mich. 487


Supreme Court of Michigan

October 31, 1882

To sustain a conviction for seducing and debauching a single woman, it is necessary for the people to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that immediately preceding the commission of the offense charged the woman was chaste and virtuous; and while, in the absence of evidence of previous unchastity, this might be presumed, when it appears that she had frequent intercourse with the party charged, and that such intercourse had ceased for six months only preceding the offense charged, during his absence from home, such presumption is displaced; and a charge of the court that a return to virtue between acts of intercourse might be presumed if the interval was long enough, although he declined to charge that the six months' separation and the attending non-intercourse was sufficient in this case, was likely to mislead the jury, and the conviction should be set aside and a new trial granted

Exceptions from Jackson.

J.J. Van Riper, for plaintiff.

A. & C.A. Blair, for defendant.


In January, 1882, the respondent was convicted of having seduced and debauched one Mary Stiles on the fifth of September, 1880, and the case is brought here on exceptions before judgment. The material evidence was given by the prosecutrix and she testified that the respondent, being unmarried and keeping house with an unmarried sister of middle age, employed [49 Mich. 488] the prosecutrix to do housework at a dollar and a half a week; that she commenced work the seventh of April, 1878, when not quite 17 years of age; that shortly before March, 1879, he began taking liberties and finally in the course of that month had illicit intercourse with her; that the relation continued until the month of December of that year at which time, or rather in the January following, she ascertained she was pregnant; that after the intercourse had become established the respondent gave her to understand that she should not be injured by it and that he would marry her; that through his advice and procurement an abortion was performed in March, 1880, and that the intercourse was then suspended or broken off until September, a period of about six months, and during which interval the respondent was almost constantly absent from home; that on his return it was resumed or begun again and then continued until within two or three months of his arrest. That on occasion of the first act...

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