AMHERST — A Madison Heights man was found guilty of aggravated sexual battery of a teenager at the close of a bench trial on Tuesday.
Keith Cavelle Mitchell, 60, was charged with that and indecent liberties of a minor from alleged assaults on a 17-year-old girl in May 2019.
The girl testified in Amherst Circuit Court that Mitchell entered her room the morning of May 20, 2019, started to touch her and then raped her.
She was examined the next day and although she had showered, a swab of her vagina revealed the presence of sperm, according to evidence and testimony from trial. DNA testing of that sperm sample showed Mitchell couldn’t be ruled out as the contributor and it was highly statistically unlikely it came from any other person.
Mitchell denied having any contact with the girl that morning when he first spoke with an investigator the day after, according to testimony. When interviewed again in January after the DNA testing was complete, he denied contact again but later changed his story, admitting to touching the girl sexually.
Taking the stand at the end of trial, Mitchell claimed his initial denials were the truth and he only agreed he’d touched the girl later because he’d been “mentally abused” with reminders of the incident between May and January and was tired of being in his situation.
He brought up that the girl had made similar accusations of at least one other man, which became criminal charges that were later dropped.
Judge Michael Garrett said he found the evidence in the case to be overwhelming and found Mitchell guilty of aggravated sexual battery, the more severe of his two charges. The other charge, which overlaps significantly with the aggravated sexual battery charge, was dismissed.
Mitchell remains out of jail on bond and is scheduled to be sentenced July 21.