CORUNNA — A man accused of choking his then-girlfriend until she passed out and then sexually assaulting her while she was unconscious is on trial this week in 35th Circuit Court.
Craig Pakosz, 43, was arrested in August 2019 and charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder. He has been lodged at the Shiawassee County Jail while awaiting trial.
Prosecutors last week offered Pakosz a plea agreement that would have seen an assault charge reduced to assault by strangulation, and the CSC-1 charge would have been dismissed. Sentencing guidelines were estimated by prosecutors at one year, seven months to three years, two months. He rejected the offer.
If convicted at trial, Pakosz faces the possibility of consecutive sentencing.
The start of Pakosz’s trial before Judge Matthew Stewart was marked by numerous objections and challenges by both sides.
After the jury pool of about 70 was whittled down to 14 jurors and they were seated at 11:37 a.m., Shiawassee County assistant prosecutor Scott Koerner laid out his case to the jury. Defense counsel Adam Pfeiffer declined to make an opening statement, reserving the right to do so later in proceedings.
Pfeiffer raised several potential discrepancies in the victim’s timeline of events, and objected to two sets of photographs taken of the victim’s genital area by the sexual assault examiner. One set of the photos were “inversed,” in order to contrast colors and make bruising on the victim more visible.
He also questioned why the victim waited three days after Pakosz was arrested for assault to report the alleged sexual assault, and why she was allowed to have a friend with her in an interview with police.
The alleged victim testified she had returned home, entered her residence on Corunna Avenue, and found then-boyfriend Pakosz intoxicated. The victim stated the two began to argue after Pakosz accused her of having an affair.
She said “her elbow nicked” Pakosz, and he then allegedly assaulted her, putting her in an arm bar and then choking her until she lost consciousness.
The victim testified she woke up and her genital area was sore, and Pakosz was “hitting her on the back… Trying to get (her) to breathe.”
Following the alleged assault, the victim said she did not call police, gave Pakosz an excuse of having to babysit, and left the residence.
While walking down Norton Street in Corunna, she was seen by Corunna Police Chief Nick Chiros, who was on patrol.
“At first she wouldn’t answer me,” Chiros testified. “Then she said her boyfriend beat her up.”
Chiros testified that he went to the victim’s residence and arrested Pakosz. The victim did not report the alleged sexual assault until several days later when she went to Chiros’ office, Chiros said.
Tanya Timbush, a sexual assault nurse examiner in Flint, testified she had performed a rape kit on the victim three days after the alleged assault, and did not find DNA from Pakosz. The victim did have marks on her body that were indicative of a physical assault, such as “bruising and abrasions on her left forearm,” and other bruising on the victim’s body and genital area.
The jury was excused about 4:10 p.m.
The trial was scheduled to continue this afternoon at 1 p.m. with more witness testimony, and is expected to run into at least Thursday.