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Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan

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How a judge sees William Hackel - as a respected law enforcement official or a man who violated the law he pledged to uphold - could determine how the former Macomb County sheriff is sentenced, legal experts say. An Isabella County jury convicted Hackel, 58, April 27 of two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was accused of raping a female acquaintance Oct. 11 at a sheriffs convention at a tribal casino. Hackel has said the sex was consensual. Chief Circuit Judge Paul Chamberlain is scheduled to sentence Hackel on May 15. Meanwhile, Hackel's attorney, James Howarth, planned to ask the judge to consider looking into possible jury tampering, and to reinstate bond for Hackel so he can get out of jail until his sentencing. Howarth said the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police, who investigated Hackel for rape, last week offered a juror a job as a dispatcher. The juror was dismissed before deliberations began because of the allegations. If Chamberlain determines that the jury was tainted, he could order a new trial, Howarth said. The 14-member jury was reduced to 12 before deliberations began.