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Published: Thursday, 5/10/2007

2 trials are planned for day-care owner

BY BENJAMIN ALEXANDER-BLOCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Clark Clark
THE BLADE/LORI KING Enlarge | Buy This Photo

ADRIAN - An Adrian man accused of molesting children at the day-care center he operated out of his home will face all but one of the 77 felony sex charges filed against him in a jury trial scheduled for August.

Douglas Jay Clark, 52, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges - which include 65 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct - stemming from the Adrian police department's investigation into alleged abuse at Guardian Family Daycare.

During a pretrial hearing yesterday in Lenawee County Circuit Court, the defense and prosecution agreed that Mr. Clark's delivery and manufacture of marijuana charge should be tried separately because the charge did not directly relate to the child-abuse charges.

The other charges Mr. Clark will face are five counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, three counts of child sexually abusive activity, and one count each of extortion, felony firearms, and computer use to commit a crime.

While Assistant Prosecutor Laura J. Schaedler had thought the defense yesterday might ask for Mr. Clark to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to gauge his criminal responsibility, Mr. Clark's attorney, John Glaser, did not ask for the evaluation.

Adrian police Detective Sgt. Lynn Courington said he believes the evaluation would have been pointless "because, while obviously something is seriously wrong with him to have done something like this, I am certain he can tell the difference between what is right and wrong."

Adrian police were called by a parent of a possible victim March 9. Police subsequently searched Mr. Clark's home and seized videos, photos, and a computer.

The abuse occurred from 2001 to the present, and the victims, both male and female, are all under the age of 16, and most under 13, Sergeant Courington said. The day-care's license, which was issued in 2002, was suspended March 13 by the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Mr. Clark remains in the county jail in lieu of $8.3 million bond.



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