Judge Sets Trial for Stepfather Accused of 14 Counts of Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Minor

By Ned Meiners

SACRAMENTO, CA – Michael Squyres maintained his innocence during a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning in Sacramento County Superior Court—he is charged with 14 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, specifically his stepchild, over several years, beginning at the age of six.

The hearing relied on the testimony of Mark Fewel, a detective with the Galt Police Department.

Fewel observed a Special Assault Forensic Evaluation, or SAFE, interview with the victim in June of last year. SAFE interviews are conducted by social workers trained to work with children and other individuals who have experienced traumatic events.

These interviews are then shared with law enforcement. According to Fewel, “The idea being to minimize the amount of times the child has to relive what they experienced and witnessed.”

Fewel testified that during the interview the victim explained they were subjected to sexual abuse at the hands of a stepfather for years. Squyres moved in with the victim’s mother when the victim was only five and the abuse started shortly afterward.

Over the course of 45 minutes of testimony, Fewel described numerous occasions when the victim was abused repeatedly by the stepfather.

Squyres, according to the victim, would often find reasons for the victim to be alone with him, such as ordering the victim to bring a fan to his bedroom or to make his bed. He also isolated the victim from the victim’s family.

“[The victim] described occasions where he would keep (the victim) awake longer than the (other children), because if all (the) kids went to bed at the same time they would stay up and talk,” said Fewel. “Whereas if (the victim) was kept awake, the other(s)…would fall asleep, (the) mom would fall asleep, and it would just be him and (the victim) in the apartment.”

Allegedly, Squyres told the victim they would be unable to see the grandparents…if the victim refused to perform sexual acts.

According to Fewel, “I would say he was controlling…he threatened (the victim) with taking away things that (the victim) liked, and depriving (the victim) of sleep if (the victim) didn’t do what he wanted.”

Reportedly, on the evening of June 14, 2020, the victim’s mother observed the defendant make an advance on the child. The defendant allegedly believed his wife was asleep in their bed when he ordered the victim into the room and began to pleasure himself.

The victim fled the room and the mother followed. The two locked themselves in the bathroom and it was here that the victim told the mother about the sexual abuse perpetrated by the stepfather. The mother took the victim and other children to their grandparent’s house where they called the police.

The defense submitted no evidence at the hearing. Superior Court Judge Tami Bogert found that there was sufficient cause to believe Squyres perpetrated these crimes and the case will proceed to a jury trial July 6.

Ned Meiners is a Legal Studies student at City College San Francisco. Originally from Maine, he currently resides on Bernal Hill in San Francisco.

 


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