Ex-Covert Twp. officer sentenced in sexual assault case

Erich Fritz (middle) during his sentencing hearing in Van Buren County District Court on July 17, 2017.


PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) — A former Covert Township police officer has been sentenced in a sexual assault case.

A Van Buren County judge called Erich Fritz’s actions despicable before sentencing him to one year in jail and five years of probation. He received credit for one day served.

Previously, Fritz pleaded no contest to one count of unlawful imprisonment. As part of the plea deal, three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of kidnapping were dropped.

The victim in the case spoke Monday during the sentencing hearing.

“What you did to me was wrong. You raped me. You knew I was highly intoxicated, yet you used that as a selfish opportunity. My life has been forever changed, every aspect of my has been affected,” she said.

The victim in the case was riding in her boyfriend’s car when Fritz stopped her boyfriend for drunk driving on July 9, 2016.

Authorities said Fritz dropped off the drunk woman at the Comfort Inn in Paw Paw before locking up the driver at the nearby Van Buren County Jail. He then returned to the hotel after his work shift and sexually assaulted the woman.

 

Fritz, who is married, had joined the Covert Township police department two months earlier and resigned shortly after the allegations.