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Michigan law firm claimed authorities ‘manipulate’ children for ‘incriminating statements’ in sex abuse cases

FIRST ON FOX: A Michigan Democratic congressional candidate’s former law firm claimed on its website that authorities “lead and manipulate” children in sex abuse cases to get “incriminating statements.”

Carl Marlinga, the Democrat running to represent Michigan’s new 10th district in Congress, was the named partner for the criminal defense firm, the Marlinga Law Group.

The firm’s website highlighted the defense attorney services provided to clients, including those for violent crimes as well as sex crimes both online and off.


However, the group’s advertising of their services may raise some eyebrows.

According to an archive of the firm’s now-deleted website, the Marlinga Law Group claimed that, “in many cases” of child sexual abuse or criminal sexual conduct with a minor, “the authorities lead and manipulate the children to make incriminating statements that might reflect little other than the child’s willingness to please an important adult.”

“With the assistance of child psychologists and behavioral experts, we show how this process can distort the entire investigation,” the website read.

“Any responsible criminal trial lawyer prepares his client for the possibility of a conviction at trial, and so do we. In the event of an adverse ruling at trial, we intervene actively with the presentence investigation to make sure that all mitigating circumstances in your favor are presented and considered before the sentence is handed down,” the website continued. 

“In one recent case, our hard work in the sentencing phase resulted in a sharp downward departure from the guidelines minimum of seven years to a sentence of only one year, to run concurrently with a sentence our client was already serving on a previous offense.”

When it comes to internet sex crimes, the Marlinga Law Group also advertised that, in “order to reduce uneasiness or negative impressions of the charges involved,” the firm’s “attorneys hire psychologists and other experts familiar with sexual addictions and the reasons why otherwise upstanding community members may find themselves viewing pornography.”

“We also take care in presenting all the facts pertinent to our client’s case: is there a history of sex abuse in your family? Divorce? Drug use? Use of psycho-tropic prescription drugs?” the website continued.

Additionally, the criminal defense firm advertised that, “in the development of a consent defense in a date rape or acquaintance rape situation,” its attorneys would “use a preeminent psychologist to examine the complaining witness prior to trial.”

“Our expert’s findings might very well indicate features of the alleged victim’s personality that resulted in the accusation of rape, or a denial of consent, under circumstances that the defendant cannot be held responsible for,” the website said. “Just as important, our experience with the clear presentation of such evidence at trial helps ensure that the jury hears your side of the story in its most convincing light.”

Marlinga was a former Macomb County judge and prosecutor, leaving the prosecutor job after being charged and acquitted on corruption allegations.

Marlinga is running against Republican candidate and U.S. Army veteran John James for Michigan’s newly-created 10th district.

John James is the Republican candidate for Michigan's 10th District.

The race is likely a Republican pickup as James and Marlinga face off, putting the Democrat former judge in a tight spot during a year favoring the GOP.

Marlinga’s campaign did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

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