As victims of Michael Terpening, former owner of Earth Services, wait for his child sexual abuse trial to conclude, the assistant Attorney General, Angela Povilaitis, revealed the results of the DNA evidence Friday in court that investigators collected in this case. The DNA results corroborate the story of one victim, as he had led investigators to the DNA evidence earlier in the investigation.
Since this case first erupted in Aug. 2011, Terpening has claimed he is innocent and went as far as to attack and slander the victims and witnesses in this case. His small group of supporters have been tools used by Terpening to accomplish this act. According to the transcripts from the preliminary examination in this case, former employees of Earth Services, Laura Underwood and Jamie Moore Bell, who is also Terpening’s aunt, have undermined authorities by contacting victims in this case. They personally delivered one of the victims to Terpening’s lawyer and bribed him to sign a notarized statement saying he was never touched by Terpening, and that he lied about the charges to get out of the residential treatment facility at Earth Services, in an effort to get the charges against Terpening dropped. They were assisted by Judith Faye, a children’s advocate.
The same victim also recorded a video of the victim recanting his story, which was posted on YouTube at the request of Moore-Bell and Terpening.
Terpening’s defense is based on the victim’s recant and believes all the charges against him should be dropped. His defense is that the victims were troubled youth and had histories of lying and filing false charges on people.
He has also alleged that this case is a result of government corruption because of the money he made off Title IV funding. Earth Services housed up to 15 residents at the youth home, and Terpening also adopted five children out of foster care.
Terpening has left a long paper trail, with victims going back approximately 17 years, with his first documented victim being his 13-year old cousin. Police were contacted in that case, but the cousin’s mother decided not to pursue the charges.
Another victim filed charges against him in 2003, but he also dropped charges after Terpening promised to buy him a truck in exchange, which Terpening never produced.
After Terpening was charged in 2011, another victim came forward with allegations that Terpening raped him 12 years earlier. Terpening is scheduled to go to trial on 1st degree charges at a later date.
As trial resumes next week, your humble reporter, a former supporter to Terpening, is expected to testify Tuesday against Terpening with information about incidences that occurred during the months prior to the day she turned away from him and became a prosecution witness.