Port Huron Man Charged With Attempted Murder Of Transgender Woman

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DETROIT, MI – Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, with the assistance of the Fair Michigan Justice Project (FMJP), charged Anthony Thornton, 46-years-old, of Port Huron, with kidnapping, multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct and unlawful imprisonment.

It is alleged that, on April 20th, 2010, Thornton met his first victim, a lesbian, at the Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS) homeless shelter in Detroit.  The victim accompanied Thornton and two other men to an abandoned house to drink and smoke.   When victim attempted to leave, Thornton and the other men held her down and took turns raping her.   The victim had a rape kit collected, but the kit was not processed until March 20, 2015. A Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) hit identified Thornton.

It is also alleged that, on March 8, 2011, Thornton’s second victim was invited to a home in Detroit by a friend. When the victim arrived, the friend was not there but Thornton was.   Thornton overpowered the victim and raped her.  Thornton only stopped his attack when he heard someone at the door.   The victim was able to escape through a back window and immediately reported the crime.  Her rape kit was recently processed, and a CODIS hit identified Thornton.   The victim has positively identified Thornton as her attacker.

For these two cases, Thornton has been charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of kidnapping, and two counts of unlawful imprisonment. First-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping are felonies punishable by up to life in prison. Second-degree criminal sexual conduct and unlawful imprisonment are felonies punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

The cases were assigned to Special Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz of the FMJP, which is collaboration between the Prosecutor’s Office and Fair Michigan Foundation, Inc. FMJP is a program that assists Michigan law enforcement officers and prosecutors in solving serious crimes against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons.

Fair Michigan President Dana Nessel said, “These cases illustrate the tragedy of Michigan’s failure to quickly process thousands of rape kits in Detroit and the importance of Prosecutor Worthy’s longtime crusade to bring the perpetrators of sex crimes to justice. An accused serial rapist evaded justice for years, and the victims’ demands for justice were unaddressed. The Fair Michigan Justice Project, in association with the Prosecutor’s Office and the Detroit Police, is proud to take up these cold cases and finally deliver justice to the women and LGBT individuals who were victimized.”

Thornton was arraigned on January 24, 2017, and was given a $100,000 cash bond. The probable cause conference will be held on January 31, 2017. The preliminary examination is scheduled for February 7, 2017, in front of Judge Shannon A. Holmes of the 36th District Court.