The jury trial for Ryan Purdy, a 48-year-old Mayville man who once worked as a probation officer in Saginaw County, continued Friday with testimony from the alleged victim’s boyfriend.

Purdy is charged with 29 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and 29 counts of third-degree CSC in connection with sexual relations between he and the teenage daughter of his then-girlfriend.

Defense attorney, Bay City-based Brian Jean, has argued that any sexual relationship between the alleged victim and his client was consensual, and occurred after the girl turned 16, which is the legal age of consent in Michigan.

Tuscola County assistant prosecutor Erica Walle, as well as the alleged victim, have said that the girl was 15 when the sexual acts began and that she didn’t want them to occur at all, even after she turned 16. The prosecution alleges the misconduct began in 2013 and lasted through 2018, taking place in Millington and Fremont townships.

Much of Jean’s questioning of the alleged victim’s boyfriend was connected to an audio recording the man made the first time he spoke with Purdy, which had earlier been played for the jury.

Jean’s line of questioning seemed to imply that he thought the boyfriend was more concerned that Purdy was potentially having sex with a minor than having sex with the girl against her will.

“Don’t you think it’s a little bit odd that the (alleged victim’s) boyfriend is angry that (Purdy’s) been sexually assaulting her for years, and the question you ask him is ‘how old was she?’” Jean asked. “Don’t you find it odd that that is what you’re concerned with?”

According to testimony, the witness began dating the alleged victim in the summer of 2018. The couple have lived out of state since the relationship began. In May 2019, she told him about the sex acts with Purdy and a complaint was filed at the Michigan State Police Caro Post. May 2019 is also when the phone call between Purdy and the boyfriend occurred.

The boyfriend told the jury that Purdy told him he had a sexual relationship with the victim when she was 15, and that’s when the boyfriend began recording the call. At no point during the recording does the boyfriend ask Purdy how old the alleged victim was when the acts began, and Purdy does not say she was 15.

“You believe that this man had been sexually assaulting your girlfriend for years, you call him up to confront him about it, and you don’t ask him why he was sexually assaulting your girlfriend?” Jean asked the boyfriend. “You ask him how old was she.”

The boyfriend said he was attempting to gain evidence to present if the case ended up in front of a jury.

“My concern was she was underage,” the boyfriend said. “And I knew I was recording it to use in court, so if I could get an admittance out of him (it could be used as evidence).”

In his Thursday opening statement, Jean told the jury that Purdy is a “sleaze.” But that all sexual interactions between his client and the alleged victim were legal.

Purdy worked as a Saginaw County probation officer from September 1995 until his resignation in April 2003. According to testimony, Purdy and his wife and child were neighbors of the alleged victim. A couple of years later, the girl’s mother and father divorced, and the mother began dating Purdy.

The trial began June 8 with jury selection, a process that lasted until about 5 p.m.  that day. Thursday morning, the 10-woman, four-man jury (two of the jurors are alternates and will be dismissed prior to deliberation) was seated and began hearing witness testimony in the case. The trial is being held at the Caro Knights of Columbus Hall, 903 Ryan Road in Indianfields Township. The K of C is larger than the circuit court room at the courthouse and has more room for social distancing.

The case is being presided over by Judge Donald Teeple, a longtime Sanilac County judge who is now retired.

The trial is taking longer than expected, so at the end Friday’s testimony, a decision was made to take a four-day hiatus and resume the trial today at the Tuscola County Courthouse. Although the public will not be allowed to be present, the trial will be streamed on the circuit court’s YouTube channel. To watch, go to the Tuscola County Circuit Court webpage and click on the YouTube link.

The trial is being moved to the courthouse because a new jury trial began Tuesday at the K of C Hall.

Although Purdy faces 58 counts of criminal sexual conduct, he can be found guilty of only 29. Walle told jurors that they will have three options when they begin deliberation – to find Purdy not guilty, guilty of 29 counts of first-degree CSC or guilty of 29 counts of third-degree CSC. Both degrees of CSC involve sexual penetration. First-degree CSC carries a maximum penalty of life in prison while third-degree CSC carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Purdy was arraigned on the charges in August 2019.