Father charged with 7 counts of criminal sexual conduct


BENZIE COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- A Benzie County father of eight is behind bars on seven counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Michael Bancroft was arraigned Thursday afternoon on four counts of CSC second degree, one count of CSC third degree and two counts of CSC fourth degree.

He's accused of having sexual contact with a girl 13 years old or younger, and a girl between 13 and 17 years old.

According to the prosecutor, one of those victims is related to Bancroft, and the other is a family friend.

Bancroft is also accused of having oral sex with a girl 17 years or older.

The alleged incidents happened between 2007 and 2012 in Benzie County.

Bancroft was arrested at his home on Wednesday, just weeks after Child Protective Services removed his kids from his home and contacted law enforcement.

Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel says this kind of crime is pure evil, and their goal is to protect the children and the victims.

"That's our duty, that's our charge, to make sure that we can find out as much as we can to make sure nothing like this happens to anyone else," says Sheriff Ted Schendel.

In court Thursday, Benzie County Prosecutor Sara Swanson requested a high bond, and considered the suspect a flight risk.

“I would argue that he is a danger to the community,” said Swanson. “These three files represent three different victims, and I would also argue that he is a flight risk upon information and belief when investigators went to his house, he and his family were packing up their belongings and planning to flee the state.”

Bancroft said if he was going to leave, he would have done it a long time ago.

Right now, Bancroft's wife is not facing any charges, but the children are with Child Protective Services.

Bancroft is being held on a $300,000 bond, and is expected back in court October 25th.

Sheriff Schendel says this remain an open investigation, and encourages any other victims to contact the Benzie County Sheriff's Office at (231) 882-4484 or submit a tip.

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