Special prosecutor to take on Emmett Twp. cop's CSC case

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A special prosecutor has been selected to take on criminal sexual conduct allegations made against an Emmett Township K9 officer.

The Eaton County Prosecutor will now take on the case, to determine whether Troy Estree should be charged with sexually assaulting a teen under the age of 16.

Estree was arrested in Emmett Township Wednesday morning.

Right now, he's sitting in the Branch County Jail for his own safety, as he is a 10-year veteran officer.

Detectives with the Michigan State Police say Estree is expected to face two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The Eaton County prosecutor now has hours of evidence to pour through before the 48-hour time limit to hold Officer Estree in jail runs out at 9:00 a.m. Friday.

Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert spoke to Newschannel 3 and explained why he made the decision to have someone else take on this disturbing case.

The allegations by State Police detectives accuse Troy Estree of sexually assaulting a young teenage relative inside his Emmett Township home on two separate occasions last month, while off duty.

It's a difficult case on its own, and Gilbert says he wants to maintain transparency in his office.

"We have to cover every case, we can't make exceptions for anybody, but in this case, we have a special relationship with who's involved, and it's not a normal police agency situation; it's different agencies," he said.

The second agency affected is the Battle Creek Police Department, where Estree's wife serves as a detective.

"There's one person involved in this matter who we do have a specoal relationship with in this office, and it could be an appearance of impropriety when people look at it the way we're dealing with the case, one way or another way, they can think we're being too lenient or too harsh," Gilbert said.

Estree remains on paid leave.

Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker, who taught Estree firearms training during police academy, says his wife is still reeling from the news, after meeting with her Wednesday at police headquarters in Emmett Township.

"We've wrapped our arms around Detective Estree," Chief Blocker said. "She is currently trying to deal with this, and we're allowing her and giving her the opportunity, because of the uniqueness of this incident, to take the time she needs."

Prosecutor Gilbert says all that changes now is who will be trying the case.

The venue will not change.

Estree is expected to be charged early Friday morning.