The Chief of Police in Potterville, Michigan, is facing multiple charges of misconduct in his official capacity. These charges involve misconduct surrounding allegations of rape from his wife, involving an Eaton County sheriff’s deputy.
Charges were filed on Tuesday against Shane Bartlett, Potterville Police Chief, and include misconduct in office, false felony reporting and lying to police. The Barry County Prosecutor lists all the charges as felony offenses.
According to investigators, the Bartlett’s alleged crimes revolve around his wife Kellie Bartlett, who filed a rape report against a sheriff’s deputy she worked with in Eaton County. The claim states that he sexually assaulted her while at work.
Kellie Bartlett claimed that she was assaulted in March of 2017. Upon investigation, it was determined that she had been a “willing and consenting partner in the act.” She had worked at the sheriff’s office for almost nine years before being fired in 2017. She had an ongoing relationship with the accused deputy from 2015 to 2017. When she was fired, according to State Police Detective Sgt. Eric Darling’s testimony, she started stalking the deputy. She claims the following and ongoing contact with the deputy regarded money she was owed from a loan to the deputy. She had not immediately filed charges, fearing accusations of lying.
“I felt like I kept getting the treatment that I’m just a scorned woman, that I’m just crazy and I think if I had come out with it at that time it would have looked even worse,” Kellie stated. “I think it would have just been chalked up to that.”
Julie Nakfoor Pratt is the Barry County Prosecutor, and she states that it is believed that Shane helped his wife in making the false allegations. A press release from the Prosecutor’s office showed, “Suspicions about Shane Bartlett’s statement arose early in the case but it has taken several months to analyze his phone and work computer records.”
Shane Bartlett denies the charges, and his attorney, Matt Newburg, has stated his intent to fight the allegations vigorously. In his statement, he said, “Shane Bartlett has been a pillar of the community for over a decade. As we continue to receive discovery from the prosecutor’s office, we intend to defend him in court against the allegations.”
Aaron Sheridan, Potterville City Manager, commented that Bartlett was placed on paid leave until the city has a chance to review the charges and investigation. While the investigation is ongoing, the city is working to maintain police coverage in Potterville.
An arraignment was held for Bartlett in the Eaton County District Court on Wednesday. He was able to secure release on his own recognizance with a $10,000 bond. The case is being prosecuted by Barry County Prosecutors, as the Eaton County Prosecutor’s Office chose to recuse itself due to conflicts of interest in both Shane and Kellie Bartlett’s individual cases.
Kelli Bartlett herself faces multiple charges including, two felony charges of committing a crime through a computer, two identity theft counts, three counts of unauthorized computer access, one count of felony conspiracy, two for stalking as a misdemeanor, a count of dissemination of visual material of a sexual nature intentionally and two misdemeanor counts of committing a crime by computer.
Shane Bartlett could receive up to 13 years in prison for the three charges he faces.