CORUNNA — A Perry man currently facing 14 criminal sexual conduct and human trafficking-related charges for allegedly paying to have sex with a then-14-year-old girl was scheduled for a plea hearing Thursday in 35th Circuit Court, but the hearing was canceled and the man is apparently taking his case before a jury.
Eric Boylan, 46, was charged by prosecutors in May 2021 with five counts of first-degree CSC, human trafficking, child sexually abusive commercial activity, using a computer to commit a crime, unlawful imprisonment, two counts of third-degree CSC, two counts of fourth-degree CSC, and accosting a child for immoral purposes. Boylan allegedly paid another individual to have sex with his family member.
The Argus-Press does not typically identify victims of sexual assault.
Immediately before Thursday’s scheduled plea hearing, Boylan’s attorney Vincent Green said his client would not be submitting a guilty plea. Boylan is currently lodged at the Shiawassee County Jail while awaiting disposition of his case. No further court dates have yet been set, and jury trials are currently paused due to the COVID rates in the county.
Shiawassee County Prosecutor Scott Koerner declined to comment Thursday, but confirmed that Boylan would not plead guilty.
Boylan is also charged as a habitual offender-fourth notice due to two 1997 convictions for first-degree CSC, for which he served a prison sentence. He faces a mandatory minimum 25-year sentence if convicted of any CSC-related crime, and possible life sentences on the CSC-1 counts and several others due to his status as a habitual offender.
Additionally, Boylan is also accused of assaulting the same victim from the current case in 2018, and fleeing to Texas to avoid prosecution. He was apprehended by the Michigan State Police Fugitive Recovery Team in connection with the 2018 case.
Boylan was charged with Jeffrey Funsch, who is facing 11 felony counts, including CSC, human trafficking, and numerous others for allegedly providing the minor female family member to Boylan in order to have sex with her.
Funsch was set to plead guilty in September 2021 to a reduced charge of second degree child abuse, but 35th Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart declined to accept Funsch’s plea.
At that plea hearing, Funsch testified that he took the then-14-year-old girl to the home of Eric Boylan, 45, of Woodhull Township. Funsch said he was there to look at a recreational vehicle that was for sale, and went out to his truck, smoked a cigarette and came back inside the pole barn where the RV was parked.
He claimed that he had no idea the girl had sex with Boylan, and denied he arranged the sexual encounter when questioned by Stewart.
Both Funsch and Boylan have been lodged at the county jail since their respective arrests.