Jury acquits local man on sexual contact

IRON MOUNTAIN — A 44-year-old man accused of having sexual contact with a 9-year-old girl was found not guilty Thursday on all charges in Dickinson County Circuit Court.

David Streckert faced three counts of criminal sexual conduct-second degree, one for each alleged instance of contact said to have taken place between May and July 2017 in Kingsford.

The jury deliberated for about two hours before returning with the not guilty verdict on all counts.

Much of the testimony during the four-day trial centered on the 9-year-old’s credibility and notes reportedly found in her bedroom that suggested the accusations were part of a plan against Streckert.

Handwriting experts were unable to definitively determine who wrote the notes; both the girl and Streckert claimed they did not do it.

Testifying in his own defense Wednesday and into Thursday, Streckert denied any inappropriate contact with the girl. At one point, he broke down in tears, saying, “I’ve lost everything.”

Speaking directly to the jury, Streckert added, “I wouldn’t wish what I’ve gone through on anybody.”

During cross-examination, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kristin Kass highlighted inconsistencies between Streckert’s initial statement to Kingsford Public Safety officers and his testimony, questioning why he did not give such a detailed account to the police when interviewed.

Kass also wondered why the child would leave loose papers of her intent to incriminate Streckert when she kept a journal.

In her closing argument, Kass asked the jury to consider what the girl stood to gain from her accusations and whether or not it was believable she plotted against Streckert.

“Who has the motivation to lie?” Kass asked. “Whose testimony do you believe?”

In response, defense attorney Daniel Jaspen asked if the prosecution proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt, as there was no physical evidence or eyewitness.

“Is it possible he is guilty?” Jaspen said. “I guess so. But that’s not the question.”