Monday, October 08, 2012

Dr. Wendell Allen Racette sentenced to 15-30 years in prison for sexual assaulting a child patient

Now, if you can just get the same for physical assault, progress will have been made. Could this be Dr. Thomas Floyd’s future? I hope it is.






Written Laura Misjak

A former Lansing pediatric dentist convicted last month of sexually assaulting a child patient was sentenced Wednesday to 15-30 years in prison.

A jury in August found Dr. Wendell Alan Racette, 65, guilty of five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and 10 counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Ingham County Circuit Judge William Collette sentenced Racette to 15-30 years in prison for each of the first-degree charges and seven years two months to 15 years for the second-degree charges. Those will be served concurrently.

Racette also was sentenced to a lifetime of electronic monitoring when he’s done with prison, and ordered to not contact the victim’s family directly or indirectly.

Racette declined to give a statement during the hearing. His attorney, Chris Bergstrom, was not immediately available for comment following the hearing.

Prosecuters said Racette sexually assaulted a boy in his Lansing dental office between 1996 and 2000 when the boy was between the ages of 5 and 10. He came forward with his story in 2010.

The victim is now 22. The Lansing State Journal does not identify the victims of sexual assault.

The victim read a poem before Collette handed down the sentence.

“Years lost, but a lifetime found, for I fought the devil and survived every round,” he said.

Ingham County Assistant Prosecutor Debra Rousseau argued before sentencing for Racette to serve at least 25 years in prison — the minimum that would have been set had the assaults occurred within the past few years before a new state sentencing guidelines took effect.

Two other victims who testified but whose allegations didn’t lead to charges were present for the sentencing, as well as two jury members, said Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III, who attended the sentencing.

“I know it’s the victim’s family’s position they hope that (Racette) never sees the light of day,” Dunnings said.

Dunnings said he plans to try “something novel” with this case. Dunnings will file a lawsuit for a forfeiture of the Saginaw Street office building where the crimes occurred.

He said if the property is turned over, it could be sold to benefit local law enforcement agencies.