Authorities say a 7-year-old girl from west Michigan was sexually assaulted by her mother’s boyfriend before he suffocated her and fatally stabbed himself.

Authorities said in a release Wednesday that 39-year-old James Vernon Belanger of Montague Township assaulted Chloey Ann Stoudt in her bedroom on April 28.

Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola said Belanger’s blood-alcohol level was 0.12 percent.

Kelly Jo Stoudt of Ludington was arraigned last Friday on child neglect and abuse charges related to her daughter’s death. She also faces four drug charges including one felony.

Stoudt’s lawyer, Jeffrey Nellis, said in a statement his client also is a victim who grieves her daughter’s loss.

Stoudt’s other two children have been placed with her parents. Stoudt is free on personal bond pending an Aug. 25 preliminary exam.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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