DETROIT (WWJ) – A mistrial has been declared in the trial of a Northville-area man accused of having sex with a 15-year old girl who ran away with him for two days last October.
The Wayne County Prosecutor’s office says it will re-try Robert Messer who faces up to life in prison if convicted on rape charges.
Arguments in the week-long trial wrapped up Wednesday with the prosecutor saying Messer manipulated and groomed the girl to have sex with him.
The defense said the girl wasn’t forced to go with Messer when the two ran away. The girl gave birth to a baby boy earlier this year.
In October, it was reported that 15-year-old Lalinsky, took off with 37-year-old Robert Messer, a family friend — and both left notes behind saying they love one another.
“They’re in love, they’re sorry that it worked out this way, nobody can do anything to change it,” Schwartz told WWJ Newsradio 950. “She had left a little blurb for each of her sisters.”
Shortly after Lalinsky was found, her mother was asked if she had any inkling that a physical relationship was developing between the two.
“If I did, I probably would’ve strangled him a long time ago,” she told reporters in 2013, “you know, the minute I thought so. I trusted him.”
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Messer apparently drove Lalinsky from her Plymouth Township home to his home in Northville. Later, Messer and Lalinsky were seen leaving his home together, Worthy said.