Thursday, June 24, 2010

Edward Lee Higgins - Repeat Sex Offender - 18 Years Later

Edward Lee Higgins, a local businessman charged with sexually assaulting a former employee at her home in February was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force in the early 1990s and sentenced to a military prison for a felony sex crime, according to police and court records.

Higgins, 46, of 8520 Durham, Whitehall, was arraigned Tuesday in Muskegon County’s 60th District Court on one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony, in connection with an alleged Feb. 27 assault of a Montague woman.

The judge also arraigned Higgins as an habitual offender, stemming from a Dec. 10, 1992, conviction by the United States Air Force Military Tribunal of Indecent Acts, according to a court document.

Montague Police Chief Robert Rought — whose department handled the recent complaint — said the habitual offender charge stems from when Higgins was a U.S. Air Force recruiter.
Higgins was charged after several women with whom he was in contact as a recruiter alleged that he sexually assaulted them, Rought said.
As a result of those allegations, Higgins was convicted of a felony, dishonorably discharged and sentenced to four years at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, according to a police report.

It isn’t clear how much time Higgins served at the prison. The Chronicle has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the Air Force to obtain additional information.
In the more recent incident, police said Higgins sexually assaulted a 34-year-old mother and wife at her home while her husband and children were away.
Higgins — who owns multiple businesses in Muskegon County, including several towing companies — declined to comment for this story.
The woman told The Chronicle that Higgins stopped by her home uninvited and when she opened her front door, he walked in, closed the door and began groping her.

The woman said she asked him to leave, but he refused.

According to the police report, he exposed himself, chased the woman around the inside of her home, pulled her pants down and tried to sexually assault her.

The woman said she struggled to get him off her and the attack ended after a neighbor — who witnessed the incident through a window — walked toward her home to see what was going on.
At that point, Higgins abruptly got in his truck and left, according to the police report.

Meanwhile, the woman says she fears Higgins has victimized others. Both she and Rought urge anyone who may have been sexually assaulted by Higgins to call Montague Police at 893-0810.

Higgins has hired Muskegon attorney Terry Nolan, who said last week that his client and the victim had an "ongoing relationship" and the Feb. 27 incident was the result of a "misunderstanding."

The victim denies there was ever a "relationship."

A preliminary examination for Higgins is scheduled for July 2.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

"On average most sex offenders are never caught again for a new sex offense, after five years, between 10 and 15 percent of sex offenders are detected, often convicted, of committing a new sex offense. If you follow them for ten years the rates go up somewhat, if you follow them as long as we’ve been able to follow them, which is about 20 years, the rates go up to somewhere between 30 to 40 percent of the total sample will eventually be caught for a new sex offense."
Dr. R. Karl Hansen

No comments: