By Michael P. McConnell
Daily Tribune Staff Writer
PUBLISHED: Sunday, April 6, 2008
BERKLEY -- Gerald Snapp, convicted of incest and sexually assaulting his adopted daughter who gave birth to their child, was sentenced to serve up to 30 years in prison.
Snapp, 43, of Berkley was sentenced Thursday by Oakland County Circuit Judge Mark Goldsmith to serve from 6 years and nine months to 30 years in the case.
Rather than face a trial, Snapp last month pleaded guilty in the case to eight felony counts of criminal sexual assault on his adopted daughter, now 22 years old.
"We're happy with the sentence because Mr. Snapp is going to be with the (state) Department of Corrections for a long time," said Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Giles. "His sentence will be reviewed by the parole board after 81 months and he will more than likely serve more than the minimum sentence."
The adopted daughter testified in Berkley District Court in February that Snapp began sexually assaulting her when she was 15 years old.
The assaults began within months of when victim first arrived as a foster child at the home Snapp shared with his wife and other children, prosecutors said.
Later, the Snapps adopted her as their daughter and the sexual assaults all took place between 2000 and 2003, according to prosecutors.
When she was 18 the adopted daughter testified how she gave birth to a daughter.
Snapp was identified as the father of the child based on DNA testing.
He previously had visitation rights with the daughter he had with his adopted daughter.
"It was concern for the child that resulted in Mr. Snapp being charged in this case," Giles said.
The child told her mother that Snapp had molested her, Giles said. The mother then took the child to be interviewed by professionals at CARE House, a facility for abused children run by the Child Abuse and Neglect Council of Oakland County.
"It was then that we discovered all the things that had been done to the victim in this case," Giles said, adding that prosecutors didn't have a strong enough case against Snapp in the abuse against the daughter he fathered by his adopted daughter.
Prosecutors said it was easier on the victim in the case to avoid having to testify at a trial.
"The victim is a remarkable young woman," Giles said. "She is working and raising a child she didn't necessarily want and taking good care of her. She has had a difficult life compounded by Mr. Snapp's behavior. She is a productive member of society and doing everything she can to raise her child properly."
Daily Tribune : Father gets 6-30 years for sexually assaulting his adopted daughter 04/06/08