Former Allegan man sentenced for molesting his foster child

By Ryan Lewis

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 12:12 PM EDT

Warren Frank Tuer, 61, was sentenced to spend 69 months to 15 years in prison for the sexual abuse of a young girl.

The former Allegan man had been the girl’s foster parent and was a social worker for 19 years, facts that exacerbated his crime, according to Allegan County Circuit Court Judge Kevin Cronin.

The prosecution said the abuse began in 1999. The victim said Tuer forced her to perform a variety of sexual acts when she was 12 years old and the abuse continued for many years.

“I felt like the world was a big lie,” she said. “I was angry, hurt and scared.

“Warren, you are an evil man.

“Now I have a real family, real encouragement ... I’m finally free.

“You ruined my childhood. I wish awful things for you.”

Tuer was arrested in March in Nevada, where he had recently moved.

He was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct against a victim younger than 13.

In exchange for pleading guilty to one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, the remaining charges were dropped at his sentencing hearing Friday, July 29.

Assistant Allegan County prosecutor Myrene Koch said Tuer’s sentence should exceed state guidelines because of the extent of the abuse as well as the predatory nature of Tuer’s crime.

“His 19 years of social work gave him a thorough understanding of his victim’s vulnerability,” Koch said.

She requested that the judge sentence Tuer to more than 57 months prison to a maximum of 10 to 15 years.

Tuer’s attorney Pat Burson said after the hearing that his client was extremely sorry he’d committed his crime.

“He took a plea because he didn’t want to put (the victim) through more pain,” Burson said. “He wants to receive his punishment and move on with his life.”

Judge Cronin said Tuer had manipulated and betrayed his victim.

“This crime is just a ghastly case of utmost cruelty,” Cronin said. “against someone who relied on you for safety and protection.”

He said it was regrettable that the public image of foster parents would be tarnished because of Tuer’s crime, and that Cronin knew of many who were nothing like Tuer.

“There is nothing in our elaborate scoring system that reflects the degree of your departure from societal norms,” Cronin said.

He said evidence showed that Tuer’s criminal behavior occurred on at least 12 different occasions for hours of illicit gratification.

“I’m finding that your role as a foster parent and your prior experience and the victim’s vulnerability as cause to go above the sentencing guidelines,” Cronin said. He urged the Department of Corrections to enroll Tuer in sexual offender treatment.

Cronin said that if the treatment was not prompt, and Tuer is released from prison anytime soon, he feared for the public’s safety.

Tuer was given credit for 134 days already served in jail. He was also ordered to pay $1,698 in fees and $3,512.89 in restitution, largely to pay the cost of his extradition from Nevada.