Ex-choir director gets prison for molestation

Daniel Pepper, Staff Writer

A man who admitted to criminal sexual conduct with his choir students at a Wayland church has been sentenced to 18 months in state prison.

Nathan John Lavoie, 33, of Middleville was in Allegan County Circuit Court for sentencing Monday, July 14, by Judge Margaret Zuzich Bakker.

“Obviously, what’s of grave concern to the court is that your behavior was so predatory in nature and was done by someone who’s now 33 years old,” Bakker said. “You might have been about two years younger when some of this was done, but you were 15 to 20 years older than the victims you perpetrated on.”

Prosecutors had charged Lavoie with a series of criminal sexual conduct crimes involving three teenaged girls in the choir he directed at St. Therese Catholic Church in

Wayland. In a June hearing, he admitted touching two different choir members’ breasts in a sexual manner and Bakker found him guilty of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

During the hearing, Lavoie’s attorney, James Mikel McEwen spoke for his client first.

“He’s here to express that he understand there’s no excuse for what he did,” McEwen said. “He understands that, he’s embarrassed, and he knows there’s nothing he can do to take these things he did back.”

For full story, pick up a copy of the July 17 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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