Ex-Okemos Teacher Trial Continues

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

One hundred forty-two people showed up to the Eaton County Courthouse Monday for jury duty.

All them summoned in the case against William Bryan Polston, the former Okemos High School Teacher charged with six counts of criminal sexual conduct in Eaton County.

"We need to find out if you have any personal experiences that might influence you for or against the prosecution or the defense," Judge Calvin Osterhaven said.

The judge began jury selection with his own round of questioning, then it was Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Morton's turn.

"Anything about those experiences that would make you not able to make an impartial decision?" Morton asked potential jurors.

Polston's attorney, Frank Reynolds, hammered home the point that as of right now, his client is innocent, and it's up to the prosecution to prove otherwise.

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent, all the way through trial, until you decide a verdict," Reynolds told potential jurors.

Several potential jurors were excused for knowing too much about the case, or having an opinion about it that would cause them to be less than impartial.

As was reported back in July, police documents say the alleged sexual relationship between Polston and the teenage girl occurred in 2003 and 2004 at his Delta Township home. They also reveal a 2009 settlement was reached between the two where Polston agreed to pay the victim $70,000.

Those kinds of details were not discussed in court Monday, but it was revealed the victim will be taking the stand in the trial.

The judge said in court he believes once opening statements begin, the trial could last three to four days, then the jury would get the case for deliberation.

Polston is also charged in Ingham County with four counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, and two in the third degree. A trial date there has not been set.

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