Sex­ual preda­tor hear­ing up­com­ing

Scott Grant was con­victed in 1985 MOL teen’s death

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Front Page - By An­drew Cass [email protected]­ald.com @An­drewCassNH on Twit­ter

A hear­ing to de­ter­mine whether one of the men re­spon­si­ble for Men­tor-on-the-Lake teenager Michelle Hayes’ death is a sex­ual preda­tor is sched­uled for Jan. 14 in Lake County Com­mon Pleas Court.

The 17-year-old vic­tim’s body was found in a shal­low grave in a Men­tor black­berry patch on Aug. 3, 1985. Two men were con­victed in Hayes’ death, in­clud­ing Scott Grant.

Grant, now 51, was 18 when he told of­fi­cials he killed Hayes with an ac­ci­den­tal mar­tial arts punch to the throat be­cause she re­sisted his sex­ual ad­vances. A Lake County jury con­victed Grant of in­vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter and kid­nap­ping. He was sen­tenced to 11 to 40 years in prison.

In Au­gust 2016, Lake County Com­mon Pleas Court Judge Richard L. Collins sched­uled a sex­ual of­fender clas­si­fi­ca­tion hear­ing to de­ter­mine

whether Grant should be clas­si­fied as a sex­ual preda­tor un­der Me­gan’s Law (House Bill 180).

The hear­ing never took place how­ever be­cause Grant — act­ing as his own at­tor­ney — filed a writ of pro­hi­bi­tion from the South­ern Ohio Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity in Lu­casville, ar­gu­ing that Judge Richard L. Collins Jr. has no power to con­duct the hear­ing.

HB 180 — Ohio’s Sex Of­fender Reg­is­tra­tion & No­ti­fi­ca­tion Law — be­came ef­fec­tive in 1997. The sub­se­quent Adam Walsh Child Safety Pro­tec­tion Act was passed in 2008, re­peal­ing the pre­vi­ous law.

“The re­fusal of this court to is­sue a writ of pro­hi­bi­tion would re­sult in in­jury to (the de­fen­dant), as it would cause him to be la­beled a sex­ual preda­tor un­der a re­pealed law that has no ef­fect,” Grant wrote.

Grant’s re­quest for a writ of pro­hi­bi­tion was heard by the 11th Dis­trict Court of Ap­peals. The ap­pel­late court ruled that the sex­ual preda­tor clas­si­fi­ca­tion hear­ing was al­lowed.

Grant sub­se­quently ap­pealed the 11th Dis­trict Court’s de­ci­sion to the Ohio Supreme Court.

The higher court is­sued its de­ci­sion in Oc­to­ber 2018, af­firm­ing the ap­pel­late court’s judge­ment.

Ohio Supreme Court Jus­tice Sharon Kennedy wrote that while Me­gan’s Law had been re­pealed, “our

caselaw...holds that when a new law can­not be ap­plied retroac­tively, the leg­is­la­ture’s ap­peal of the for­mer ver­sion of that law is a nul­lity.”

“For this rea­son, our hold­ing in 2011 that the retroac­tive ap­pli­ca­tion of the AWA is un­con­sti­tu­tional means that Me­gan’s Law con­tin­ues to ap­ply to of­fend­ers con­victed be­fore 2008, in­clud­ing Grant,” she said.

Dawn Hayes, Michelle’s sis­ter, told the News-Her­ald in 2017 she wants Grant reg­is­tered as a sex of­fender so that when he is re­leased, it will help pro­tect peo­ple who may not be aware who is liv­ing in their neigh­bor­hood.

Grant’s max­i­mum sen­tence — which in­cludes ex­tra time for an un­re­lated bur­glary case — ends on Aug. 20, 2025. He is next up for pa­role this Fe­bru­ary.

Ahead of that hear­ing Dawn Hayes cre­ated a change.org pe­ti­tion col­lect­ing sig­na­tures in hopes to keep her sis­ter’s killer be­hind bars.

“You de­stroyed so much with your heinous act, but one thing you never will de­stroy is my love and com­mit­ment to my sis­ter Michelle,” she wrote.

More than 4,000 peo­ple have al­ready signed the pe­ti­tion.

Grant’s co-de­fen­dant, then-16-year-old Stephen Co­hen, pleaded guilty to in­vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter for help­ing Grant cut off the de­ceased vic­tim’s legs and bury her. Co­hen was re­leased from prison in 2010 af­ter serv­ing his full 25-year sen­tence.

Co­hen can­not be pur­sued as a pos­si­ble sex of­fender be­cause he was not con­victed of a reg­is­ter­able of­fense.

Grant

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