Person Of Interest In Mary Lands Disappearance Accused In Teen Rape Case
An Albion area man, who is said to be a person of interest in the 2004 disappearance of Mary Lands, has been arrested for the alleged sexual assault of a teenager. The Battle Creek Enquirer reports 50-year-old Christopher Pratt was arraigned Monday on a third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge and if convicted, he could spend up to 15 years in prison.
Calhoun County Sheriff's deputies say Pratt is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old teen runaway who had taken off from a treatment facility in Albion back in September. After she had returned, the girl told staff there that Pratt assaulted her when she stopped at a house to ask for a ride.
Authorities took Pratt into custody on Friday at his Sheridan Township home after weeks of investigations. His bond was set at $200,000 and a preliminary examination is scheduled for December 17th.
Pratt has had several previous run-ins with the law. He was also was named a person of interest in the 2004 disappearance of Mary Lands, who was his fiancee at the time. She was last seen at their apartment in Marshall. Pratt has said that Lands left the apartment following an argument.
Lands was declared dead by a Calhoun County judge in 2011. Her body was never found and no charges have ever been filed in the case. A Facebook page called 'Justice For Mary Denise Lands' continues to provide a place for people to share information in the hopes of finding answers in the case.