BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — An Emmett Township Department of Public Safety officer is facing criminal charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a teen.
Multiple sources confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 the officer is Troy Estree.
He’s accused of sexually assaulted a teen girl twice in separate incidents in his Emmett Township home, according to Michigan State Police, and faces two charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Estree was arrested Wednesday and lodged in the Branch County Jail, police said.
He was not arraigned Thursday in Calhoun County court. He must be formally charged by Friday morning — 48 hours after his arrest — or be released.
The Calhoun County prosecutor asked the state Attorney General to assign a special prosecutor to the case to avoid the appearance of impropriety. The Eaton County prosecutor was assigned to handle the case Wednesday afternoon.
Esetree has been placed on paid administrative leave, Emmett Township DPS Director Mike Olson told 24 Hour News 8, and was not on the job Wednesday at the time of his arrest. Olson said he found out about MSP’s investigation on Monday.
The mood at the department was a somber Thursday, Olson said.
“We’re hurt. You know, we hurt for the family, we hurt for our extended family, which is of course our public safety family. This is never this is never an easy thing to experience,” Olson said. “It’s a very, very somber feeling, you know, whenever a police officer — and it doesn’t matter where it happens to be — whenever they’re accused of wrongdoing or whatnot. It’s like we all wear that.”
He said he and the department they were taken by surprise when they learned of the investigation, but have been cooperating fully with state police.
“We always get taken by surprise when we experience something like this,” Olson told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday. “I would be remiss in my job if there were warning signs and I did not in fact address them as they became apparent. We didn’t see them.”
Olson said Estree has worked for Emmett Township for about 10 years. He couldn’t go into specifics about Estree’s personnel history, but described him as a good officer.
“The message I’d say to the community and to the general public is you can’t look at it and paint with a broad brush that everyone is doing something wrong, because that certainly is not the case, ” Olson said.
Estree’s wife is a Battle Creek Police Department detective, BCPD Chief Jim Blocker said.
“She is absolutely devastated,” Blocker told 24 Hour News 8 in a phone interview Wednesday evening.
Blocker said Estree was one of his students when he taught at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s police academy. He said Estree was “good student — one of our best.”
“He was a little older then a lot of the traditional students,” Blocker continued. “He gave it his best and he was a real standout.”
Olson stressed the need to wait at this point and give Estree due process.
“There is a due process and that due process has to run its course. It makes no difference who you are, what uniform you wear, or whether it happens to be a civilian,” said Olson.