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Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan

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Among grounds listed by an attorney appealing the rape conviction of former Macomb County Sheriff William Hackel are allegations the tribal police may have been guilty of jury tampering for allegedly hiring a juror while the trial was still going on. Hackel, 58, is serving a three- to 15-year sentence for convictions on two Isabella County charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was convicted April 27 of sexually attacking an acquaintance in her room at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant last Oct. 11 during a sheriffs convention. Hackel, in a North Carolina federal prison, said the sex was consensual. County Prosecutor Larry Burdick said police notified the court the juror applied for a job and that the juror was excused before deliberations began and no mistrial was ever requested. Appellate attorney David Griem said he would argue three defense witnesses have said Hackel's accuser told them she had been raped on past occasions by five people, including three relatives. He says those accusations call into question the woman's credibility and are grounds for appeal. Burdick said there was no evidence of past rape accusations and called the statements by two of the witnesses who say otherwise "rather outrageous assertions."