Man accused of East Lansing sexual assaults has first court appearance
The man accused of four sexual assaults in East Lansing made his first court appearance Tuesday and will soon face testimony from all four of his alleged victims.
Wilder, 26, is accused of initiating four sexual attacks near MSU’s campus between March 30 and May 16. He appeared for his pretrial conference before 54-B District Court Judge Andrea Larkin Tuesday morning.
Wilder is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, one count of unlawful imprisonment and one count of gross indecency between a male and female by a sexually delinquent person.
Police reports obtained by The State News through the Freedom of Information Act indicate accusations against Wilder range from reaching up skirts of victims to violent sexual assaults as the victims were walking home in various locations in East Lansing.
Ingham County Assistant Prosecutor Debra Rousseau said two of the alleged victims now live outside of the country and will have to testify in court by phone or Skype.
The two victims could not recall Wilder’s appearance or identify him, which defense attorney Paul Toman said could complicate their testimonies.
“That’s just one of the elements they have to prove,” he said.
The first assault, which police did not initially connect to Wilder, occurred on March 30 on the 1100 block of Grand River Avenue. Three more assaults occurred between April 20 and May 16.
Surveillance footage from a Meijer store, located at 1350 Lake Lansing Road, also showed Wilder following his victims throughout the store the evening of the assaults, according to police reports.
In Wilder’s handwritten confession to police, obtained by The State News by the Freedom of Information Act, he said his addiction to crack cocaine and watching sexual fantasy abuse videos influenced his behavior.
Wilder is scheduled for a preliminary exam Friday. If he is found guilty of all seven counts, he could face life in prison.