LIVONIA (WWJ) - The attorney for a man accused of attempted rape in Livonia says his client is wrongfully being linked to the December disappearance of Danielle Stislicki.
The man is expected to appear in court Wednesday to face accusations that he attacked a woman on the Hines Drive bicycle path last September. Following his arrest in that case, he was named a person of interest in Stislicki's disappearance.
Attorney Jim Williams, who is representing the man, told WWJ Newsradio he wants the public to know that his client is innocent of all charges.
"He's one of many, many people that the Farmington Hills police have been investigating regarding Danielle Stislicki. He's one more," Williams said. "What happened yesterday [his arrest] is a completely separate matter, and he's innocent of those charges. There's absolutely no connection between the two."
Williams went on to say that if police really had evidence of his client's involvement in Stislicki's disappearance, they would have brought charges -- they haven't done so, yet.
"At some point we do believe the police will back off because I'm sure they have concluded from their investigation that my client is not involved in that case," he said. "He's wrongfully identified in the Stislicki case and that ought to just drop. The police haven't been able to do anything on that, they're looking at many people."
A police source told WWJ Newsradio that the man's Berkley home was searched in connection with Stislicki's disappearance shortly after she went missing. Even one of his own family members has been outspoken about her suspicions. Williams says everyone is just jumping to conclusions.
"I can't really justify anything the sister-in-law has to say. She's certainly mentally challenged and has no respect at all for the criminal justice system. She's decided to finger her brother-in-law for reasons unknown to me," he said. "And the police haven't sought charges against anyone as far as we know. So, I don't know what the police are doing. It's been there for six months and there's nothing more coming down."
Williams said the entire situation is unfortunate for everyone involved, especially his client.
"He's a college graduate, hardworking young man. He's innocent," he said. "For whatever reason, the public decided to focus on my client. It's unfortunate. It's interrupted his life and he ought to be able to go on with his life."
More information about the man is expected to be revealed at his arraignment Wednesday.
"We'll find out the exact charges, criminal sexual conduct likely, and some of the circumstances surrounding it," said WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton. "And most importantly, the judge will set a bond. I suspect that the bond is going to be very high because this is a felony, it's a very serious charge, and likely the bond will prevent him from getting out. At that point in time, the police will have some ability to perhaps question him on the Stislicki case -- perhaps. Of course, he doesn't have to say anything but they can certainly do that."
Stislicki went missing after leaving work in Southfield on Dec. 2. Her Jeep was found a day later, parked outside her home at the Independence Green apartments in the area of Halsted and Grand River — with her purse inside. Although police found no signs of a struggle, Ann Stislicki has said she suspects that her daughter was abducted.
Police say they receive tips regularly, with fliers posted across metro Detroit with a reward of up to $129,000 in the case. Anyone with information should call the Farmington Hills Police Department's Command Desk at 248-871-2610. Tipsters may remain anonymous.
WWJ is withholding the man's name until which time, if ever, he is charged in either case.
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