Detroit Free Press, August 13, 1993
SOME CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST FOSTER FATHER JUDGE REDUCES BAIL; 13 SEX COUNTS REMAIN
By Alison Young, Free Press Staff Writer
Saying he is troubled by the evidence in the case, a 36th District Court judge Thursday dismissed three rape charges against a Detroit foster father and reduced his $75,000 cash bail to $750 bond.
Lamont Christian, 50, still faces 13 counts of raping and sexually molesting his adopted daughters, sisters ages 11, 13 and 15, on several occasions between 1990 and 1993.
During a preliminary hearing before Judge Gerald Brock, the girls testified that Christian touched their breasts, buttocks and genitals. But the oldest girl's testimony did not include her earlier allegations that Christian had intercourse with her and that she performed oral sex on him. The youngest girl also did not testify to one charge of being penetrated by Christian's finger.
"There are a whole lot of things about this case that are troubling me," Brock said at the end of the hearing. Saying he sees no threat to society, Brock reduced Christian's bail even lower than defense attorney Clarence Bradfield had requested. An official in Brock's court said the judge did not want to elaborate on his comments.
Christian, who remained in the Wayne County Jail late Thursday, was ordered to have no contact with the girls. They were placed in a foster home last month.
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Sharon Ross objected to the bond reduction. She said she could not comment about the case.
Christian is to go on trial Aug. 27. A trial judge has not yet been assigned.
The girls had been in foster care in Christian's home before they were adopted. They were placed there by Orchards Children's Services, a private foster care agency that has placed 20 children with the family since 1987. Officials are investigating whether any of the other children were molested.
Several members of the Christian family, including a grown son and daughter, filled almost two rows of the courtroom Thursday. None would comment about Christian or the case.
Christian's wife, Gwendolyn Denise, a social worker with the Department of Mental Health, was prepared to testify on his behalf, but was not called.
Defense attorney Bradfield, through his questioning of the girls, tried to paint a picture of Christian as a loving father who regularly played roughly with his children, sometimes touching various parts of their bodies.
Bradfield got the girls to agree that Christian was a strict father who set many rules and would spank the girls on their bare buttocks with a brush.
"You resented some of those rules of the household, isn't that right?" Bradford asked the 15-year-old girl. She said she didn't.
The girls testified that the sexual contact with Christian occurred in non-play situations, often with their clothes off, in his bedroom or in the basement of the home.
Christian faces four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving penetration and nine counts of second- degree criminal sexual conduct involving fondling. If convicted, he faces up to life imprisonment.