Trial of ex-SMC instructor rescheduled

CASSOPOLIS – A new date has been set for the trial of former Southwestern Michigan College instructor George Field on criminal sexual conduct and insurance fraud charges. Field had been scheduled to go on trial this week in Cass County Circuit Court and will now go on trial in early January.

The latest delay comes as Field’s attorney, James Miller, is recovering from health issues. Previously the trial was delayed when Cass Circuit Judge Mark Herman recused himself after it was discovered he served on the board of directors of the counseling practice where Field worked, and where the alleged incidents took place.

A new trial date of Jan. 7 has been set after consultation between Allegan County Circuit Judge Roberts Kengis, Miller and the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office. Kengis was chosen to preside over the case after Herman recused himself last summer. The trial will be held in Cass County at the Law and Courts Building.

Field, a Dowagiac resident, is charged with 17 felony counts, including first-degree criminal sexual conduct to practicing psychology/counseling without a license, perjury and insurance fraud. The incidents occurred between September 2015 and early 2018.