MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) — The courts are well underway adjudicating the cases against seven men accused of traveling to meet with who they thought was a 15-year-old.
We now know the seventh suspect is Calvin Veldt. He is 68 years old from Sault Ste. Marie. Court records show he posted his own $1,000 bond the weekend of the sting, on Aug. 22.
On Aug. 24, 26-year-old Ryan Howard of Negaunee and 62-year-old Thomas Soetaert of Skandia appeared before a judge in the 96th district court. The pair were arraigned on charges including Accosting a Child for Immoral Purposes and Child Sexually Abusive Activity.
Soetaert stated he could not afford an attorney and was referred to the public defender’s office. Court documents show he is out of jail after posting $1,000 bail.
Howard appeared over a video call with his attorney Antonio Ruiz, who indicated he will continue to serve as Howard’s lawyer through the case. Court documents also show he is out of jail after posting $1,000 bail.
As a condition of bail, both are barred from any contact with unsupervised minors.
Four other suspects have previously been arraigned:
- 18-year-old Hunter Trepanier of Gwinn;
- 21-year-old Dylan Abramson of Houghton;
- 41-year-old James Peterson of Wallace;
- 61-year-old Vincent Roop of Newberry.
Peterson is out after posting $2,500 bail.
An officer with the Marquette County Jail told Local 3 that Abramson, Trepanier and Roop are no longer held there. A clerk with the court tells us their bonds were originally set at $25,000 but were lowered.
Probable Cause conferences have been scheduled for the six suspects into early September, where we will learn whether the men and prosecutor will make a plea deal, or continue on toward trial.