Grosse Pointe Park— The man named a person of interest in his wife's murder last month was investigated 17 years ago for alleged inappropriate physical contact with a 5-year-old girl.
But Bob Bashara was cleared after passing a lie detector test, according to police reports obtained Friday by The Detroit News through a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
The allegation had been among many sordid details, including stories of a relationship with another woman and links to bondage and domination role-playing, in nationwide media coverage of the investigation of Jane Bashara's Jan. 24 death.
Sources also have said that although a former Bashara handyman, Joseph Gentz, has allegedly told authorities he was paid by Bashara to kill his wife, no one has been charged.
According to police reports from 1995, Bashara was threatened by Wayne County prosecutors with a second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge after a young relative of his now late-wife told her parents and investigators Bashara on two occasions caused her to touch his genitals — once while wrestling in his bed and once while she was being spanked in his home.
The girl reported while spanking her, Bashara kept telling her she liked the spanking. An investigator who interviewed the girl wrote, "… and the victim kept struggling and saying that she did not like it. …
"Bob kept telling her over and over, 'Yes you do.'"
Bashara, who reportedly has had mixed results from lie detector tests taken in connection with his wife's slaying, saw the investigation of sex charges dropped in 1995 when a Michigan State Police polygraph operator determined his test showed "no deception" when Bashara denied the girl's claims.
The reports show Bashara admitted the girl once jumped into his bed while he was nude, and that he once spanked her when she misbehaved.
The incident caused a rift in the family, Jane Bashara's mother, Lorraine Engelbrecht of Roseville, recalled in an interview with The News last week. She thought the investigation had been dropped to avoid embarrassment.
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