Scottville man sentenced to 9-60 years in prison for raping girl.

May 4, 2021

Lemire in appears in court Tuesday via Zoom.

Scottville man sentenced to 9-60 years in prison for raping girl.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

SCOTTVILLE — A 61-year-old Scottville man was sentenced to nine to 60 years in prison in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, May 4, for a conviction of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC).

Tommy Bruce Lemire, of 125 W. Broadway Ave., repeatedly raped a young girl for years beginning when she was 10 until she finally broke her silence at the age of 14.

Lemire was arrested by the Scottville Police Department and charged with two counts of first-degree CSC and one count of second-degree CSC. He pleaded “no contest” to one count of first-degree CSC.

First-degree CSC is punishable by 25 years to life in prison, and second-degree CSC is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment.

Lemire, who is free after posting a $50,000 cash/surety bond, appeared in court Tuesday via Zoom video conferencing due to COVID-19. Judge Susan K. Sniegowski ordered that he report to the Mason County Jail by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Both the victim, who is now 15, and her mother provided gut-wrenching allocution statements to the court during the hearing.

“The defendant told the victim not to mention the sexual acts to anyone,” said Mason County Prosecutor Lauren Kreinbrink. “He stated that he would be sent to prison and she would be sent to juvenile detention if she reported any acts. 

“It’s difficult to determine what is more egregious in this case — the sexual acts that were perpetrated on the victim or the defendant’s justification for those acts,” said Kreinbrink. “The defendant in this case took advantage of that trust in the most egregious way possible.” The rapes occurred “essentially every time she was alone with the defendant.”

Kreinbrink said the defendant’s justification for the acts was teaching the victim “how to please a man. He has demonstrated an absolute lack of remorse for these actions that have deeply traumatized this victim.

“Even if this defendant is sentenced to a prison term, the damage will never be undone for this victim,” Kreinbrink said before the judge handed down the sentence.

“I have lost so much faith in the justice system throughout this process,” said the victim’s mother, mentioning several delays and lack of communication issues she experienced. “How is a child molester case not top priority?” she asked.

“I had to push this case because no one else would.

“This is not directed to any one person but rather to each and every one who has simply gotten so used to this broken system that they dismiss how delays and lack of communication impact survivors.

“I worry that every time we go to the store that we will accidentally bump into him,” the mother said of Lemire. 

“I worry about my daughter’s safety from herself when she is alone. Our family had to mold our life and habits around avoiding him and others who support him while he walked around free. We’ve had to bear the brunt of explaining his actions while he dismisses it and places the blame onto a child. You keep blaming my daughter — a child — rather than accepting responsibility.”

“You manipulated me by making me feel guilty for daring to tell by telling me I had broken your trust,” said the victim. “What about my trust that was broken? Why are you — a fully grown adult — trying to make me feel responsible for trouble you find yourself in because of your actions?

“On top of the way you used me and manipulated me, you continue to let me take the heat for the things you did.

“Your actions have influenced almost every area of my life.” The victim said she has suffered from anorexia, self harm and sleep deprivation. 

“You stole a normal childhood from me.”

Lemire has no prior criminal record, said defense attorney Al Swanson, Jr. 

“I am very sorry that this happened,” said Lemire. “I can’t believe what I just heard. I wish with all my heart that this never, ever happened. Everything I just heard from them is what I feel,” he said of the mother’s and victim’s statements. “I just don’t know what I did for them to believe what that is – how they could even think of that. I’m so sorry any of this ever happened.”

Lemire said he hopes the victim and her family can move on with their lives. “If it means that I have to take full responsibility, I will do so.

“This has torn me up completely,” he said. “I just ask for forgiveness.” 

“These actions are egregious, and there is no question in those police reports — not only the statements from the victim but the completely corroborating statements from Mr. Lemire,” said the judge. “There are no denials; there is no indication that this didn’t happen, but there are a whole lot of excuses being made for why it did happen.”

Lemire made statements that he was doing something to “help” the victim by abusing her, said Judge Sniegowski. “It’s just egregious. And your statements that you don’t understand why this was bad, therein lies a huge problem here. There is no question this was bad; there is no question this was wrong; there is no question this was harmful to (the victim and her family.)”

He was ordered to not have any contact with the victim or her family as part of his sentence.

Sentencing guidelines in the case are 81-135 months, said Judge Sniegowski. 

Lemire received credit for one day served in jail. 

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This story is copyrighted © 2021, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

 

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