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Prosecutor seeks other possible victim of alleged child molester

8-1-2007 Michigan:

HURLEY -- Although a 57-year-old Chico, Texas, man committed suicide before he faced sexual assault charges of a minor in both Oneida and Iron counties, there may be some unknown victims that need assistance.

Iron County District Attorney Marty Lipske said Michael E. Walters had been coming into the area for about two years, and had made contact with a number of boys.

According to an Iron County complaint filed on June 12, Walters' 15-year-old victim said he "tends to surround himself with younger men," and affirmed that Walters was doing it for "inappropriate reasons."

Lipske said he's concerned there may be other victims, and he would like them to come forward so that they, too, can put those incidents to rest.

"We have a duty to any other victims to provide them with services such as counseling," Lipske said.

Victims, or anyone with information about other vicitms, are asked to contact Iron County Victims Services at 561-5671.

"All contacts will be strictly confidential," Lipske said.

Walters was charged in Oneida County Circuit Court with two felony counts of sexually assaulting a child under 16 and a misdemeanor count of exposing genitals stemming from incidents at a motel in Minocqua last March.

Walters also faced a felony count of second-degree sexual assault of a child in Iron County Circuit Court. Initially reported to the Vilas County Sheriff's Department, the Iron County incident allegedly occurred in early June at Walter's house on Feely Lake Road in Mercer, Lipske said.

According to the Iron County criminal complaint, Walters was stopped in Vilas County on traffic charges. A 15-year-old boy, with a Chico address, was in the vehicle.

The Oneida County criminal complaint said Walters was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and was transported to the Vilas County Sheriff's Department, along with the boy.

When the boy was interviewed by police, he said that he had been sexually molested in both Vilas and Iron counties, the complaint said.

The boy said he initially got to know Walters when he and some friends worked for Walters around Christmas time last year, taking down Christmas lights around Walter's home in Chico.

The complaint said Walters asked the boy to come to the area to help him work on his home. The boy said he came to the Mercer area with Walters during spring break, around March 15. ..more.. by MARGARET LEVRA

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