ALBION, Mich. (WOOD) — More than a decade ago when his testimony helped convict his adoptive mother of sexual abuse, Ronnie Swain was a boy. Now 27 years old, he continues his fight for her freedom and hopes her case will be heard by the Michigan Supreme Court.
In 2001, Lorinda Swain was convicted of sexually abusing Ronnie Swain. She spent several years in prison before he recanted his story, after which a judge ordered a new trial and she was released.
But prosecutors challenged the judge’s decision before the Michigan Court of Appeals and won, overturning the ruling that granted the new trial.
Still, Swain remains out of prison. She is appealing the latest ruling to the state Supreme Court, hoping justices will hear her case. Ronnie Swain is hoping, too.
“Why couldn’t they have given her a new trial by now?” he said in an interview with 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday. “This is ridiculous.”
Ronnie Swain had moved out of state to Georgia for a time and returned to Michigan on Tuesday. He hopes to again establish residency here. He says part of the reason he came back is to help his mother continue the fight for her freedom. He also said he needed to deal with another case of his own that is moving through the courts.
Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert was not in office at the time of Swain’s conviction or initial appeal, but after reviewing the case he has said that he’s confident she sexually assaulted her son. Gilbert said he suspects pressure and even threats from Swain supporters may have contributed to her son recanting his claims.
“Nobody was threatening me or anything, forcing me to change my story or anything,” Ronnie Swain said. “All that was asked is that I tell the truth, so I did.”
Ronnie Swain said he’s even willing to face charges for perjuring himself in the original case if it helps his mother keep her freedom.
Prosecutors have said that they want Lorinda Swain back in prison to serve out her sentence. Ronnie Swain said he hopes that doesn’t happen.
“Please give my mom another chance,” he said in the interview while addressing comments to the state’s high court. “Let her go to trial or let her go. I just want this to be over with.”