Shepherd man found not guilty of four criminal sexual conduct charges

Robin Lynn Heath was found not guilty on all five charges from an alleged case of criminal sexual conduct in February.

Heath, 53, of Shepherd, was acquitted of two counts of first-degree CSC, two counts of second-degree CSC and one count of intimidating a witness.

The trial ran from Monday to Wednesday, and was expected to continue Thursday. The jury convened to render a verdict Wednesday afternoon, deliberated for an hour and a half and ruled Heath not guilty.

The alleged victim, 13, said the incident took place Feb. 20. But discrepancies were found in the testimonies given to the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department and preliminary examinations.

“The jury saw the mother and daughter were very untruthful about what happened here,” said Elias Muawad, Heath’s Bloomfield Hills-based attorney. “The daughter admitted to lying during part of my questions. The mother suddenly had amnesia and could not remember the answers to my questions.”

Muawad pointed to an allegation where the victim said Heath made her view pornography before the alleged sexual encounter. They used Larry Dalman, an East Lansing-based computer forensics expert, to prove that point false, Muawad said.

Chief Assistant Prosecutor Risa Scully did agree there were some discrepancies, but said it isn’t abnormal.

“You’re going to have pitfalls and holes in every single case,” Scully said. “I don’t agree to the extent the defense attorney did.”

Muawad said he found 10 complete discrepancies in the stories of the mother and the daughter.

Heath faced between a minimum sentence of 20 to 25 years if convicted, and Muawad said the sentence “would have been his life”, considering Heath’s age.

Scully said she was disappointed with the verdict and for the family involved.

“We believed her statements,” Scully said. “Evidently, the jury feels otherwise.”

Heath plans on expanding his restaurant Robin Hood’s Barbecue, 1010 W. Broadway St., Muawad said.

“Both myself and Mr. Heath are ecstatic that the jury system worked,” he said.

The prosecutor’s office does not plan on any follow-up cases, although Heath is due back in court on Nov. 29 for sentencing in an unrelated case.