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Ingham County Sheriff opens tip line for information regarding former area youth sports referee

Sirens activated on a police cruiser.
Scott Rodgerson

The Ingham County Sheriff’s Office has opened a tip line for possible victims of a long-time Lansing-area youth sports referee. That’s after the man was arrested on multiple child sex abuse charges.

Gerald Allen Sutter's mugshot from the Ingham County Sherriff's Office.
Ingham County Sheriff's Office
Gerald Allen Sutter was arrested Tuesday on three counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Gerald Allen Sutter has worked as a sports official in mid-Michigan for nearly 50 years. On Tuesday, he was arrested on three counts of criminal sexual conduct. He’s accused of assaulting and grooming a boy participating on a local sports team. According to authorities, the assaults took place between 2019 and 2021.

Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wrigglesworth says his office has opened a phone and email line, so that other victims can come forward with their stories.

“We're just asking the public to reach out to us if they have pertinent information to the case, or they've been victims of Gerald Sutter in the past,” he said.

Wrigglesworth says they believe there may be other victims out there.

Some of the information we've gleaned from the start of this investigation leads us to believe that he's been preying on young male victims for quite some time. And don't know if there's any female victims out there,” he added.

Wrigglesworth says all incoming messages will be returned by a team member specially trained to deal with survivors of sexual abuse.

“We have specifically trained detectives that have worked sexual assault cases in the past that know how to handle these delicate situations, know the right questions to ask, understand the trauma associated with these type incidences,” Wrigglesworth said. “And we're going to do everything we can do to make sure anybody victimized by Mr. Sutter gets the justice they deserve.”

According to Wrigglesworth, those who call or send an email will not be required to share identifying information. All information will be kept private.

“They can remain anonymous if they want to,” Wrigglesworth said.

The email tip line can be reached at: hotline@ingham.org or by calling 517-676-8440.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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