MACOMB TOWNSHIP (WWJ) – A Macomb Township man has been found not guilty after he was accused of asking an autistic girl for sex at her lemonade stand in 2015.
A Macomb County jury deliberated for roughly two hours before reaching their verdict against 68-year-old Pal Rakaj, who spoke through an interpreter during the trial, The Macomb Daily reported. Rakaj had been facing a charge of accosting, enticing or soliciting a child for immoral purposes, a four-year felony.
The alleged incident took place during a subdivision-wide garage-sale, as the 14-year-old girl was selling lemonade from a stand in her driveway. Police say Rakaj pulled up in a white Chrysler Town & Country minivan, exited his vehicle, approached the girl and offered her money in exchange for a sexual act. A witness intervened and blocked Rakaj’s minvan, preventing him from driving away. The girl ran inside and her mother called police. Rakaj was arrested at the scene.
Rakaj, who speaks broken English with a heavy accent, claimed it was a misunderstanding — saying he used an Albanian word that sounds similar to an English vulgarity but has a different meaning.
The prosecution claimed Rakaj knew more English than he was letting on. His defense attorney said the case should have never been charged.