Evidence considered for man convicted in 2011 of molesting daughter
A new trial is a possibility for Earl Kranz.
He has appealed his 2011 conviction for sexually abusing his young daughter, claiming his lawyer didn’t represent him well and certain pieces of evidence shouldn’t have been excluded. He maintains his innocence.
In 2013, the Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction; the Michigan Supreme Court ordered later that the appeals court should remand the case to the lower court to rule on whether excluded evidence was, in fact, admissible.
The Court of Appeals intends to review these findings and reconsider whether Kranz is entitled to a new trial.
Allegan County Circuit Court Judge Kevin Cronin began that process of reviewing pieces of evidence at a hearing Friday, Aug. 22, during which he ruled three were admissible.
They included an order from Child Protective Services that was the result of a 1992 abuse/neglect case in Indiana involving a different child that found Kranz not guilty.
Cronin ruled a report by the late Dr. Charles Laufer, a social worker and psychologist, could be admitted if presented and interpreted by an expert.
The 1994 report included an evaluation of Kranz’s daughter requested by Ionia County Department of Human Services following sexual abuse allegations. It concluded the daughter could have been the victim of a possible factitious disorder by proxy.
That is a condition in which a person deliberately produces, feigns or exaggerates symptoms in a person in their care. The report says this is known more commonly as Münchausen syndrome by proxy.
Cronin also ruled Lauffer’s testimony in a 2003 Kent County child protective services case was also admissible.
Kranz’s defense is seeking admissibility for a total of 10 documents.
Kranz helped found a free health clinic in Allegan.
For more on this story, pick up a copy of the Aug. 28 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.