Genesee Township foster parents charged with child sex abuse in 2012, 2016

New information came to light in March 2020, after one of the accused was treated at a local hospital.
Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 6:13 PM EST
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GENESEE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) - (1/7/2021) - A mid Michigan man goes to the hospital for a health concern and comes out accused of sexually abusing two minors.

Genesee Township Police say no criminal actions happened at the hospital, but information came out that led to criminal charges for both the man and his wife.

Investigators believe there could be at least a dozen more victims.

Right now, this couple is facing charges in connection with two victims, but the Genesee County Prosecutor said one more person has already come forward.

When asked how the alleged victims are coping, David Leyton simply said they’re struggling.

“If somebody sees something or brings it to our attention, you know, no matter what it is, we’ll investigate it,” Genesee Township Police Chief John Mullaly said.

He explained these accusations against 44-year-old Shawn McClain and his 48-year-old wife Dawn McClain stem from 2016.

“There were some other youngsters in the home, who made some complaints that they were concerned about what was going on,” Leyton explained. “And they were also concerned for their own safety.”

An investigation began; but the Chief said during questioning, those kids took back what they said. That forced the case’s status to change to ‘inactive’.

Then, in March 2020, Chief Mullaly said Shawn McClain was admitted to the hospital. While he was there, the Chief said more information came out, prompting his detectives to revisit that 2016 case.

With help from Voices for Children, CPS and the state health department, Shawn McClain and his wife, Dawn McClain faced a judge this week on 17 felony charges.

Shawn McClain is accused of sexually assaulting a girl on and off for six years, starting when she was 12-years-old. Leyton said he’s accused of doing the same to a boy who was 7-years-old when it started in 2012.

Searching through McClain’s phone, the Prosecutor said they also found three inappropriate photos of children.

“We’ve charged Dawn McClain on a theory of aiding and abetting. We believe that she assisted her husband,” Leyton added.

Leyton acknowledged these two are innocent until proven guilty, a point Shawn McClain’s defense attorney, Nicholas Robinson, also made.

“Why did it take so long? Why has it been five years? Why has it been nine years that you are now finally coming forward and speaking with the police? What happened? Why didn’t you do it at the time, if it actually happened?” Robinson questioned.

The pair have been foster parents, which has investigators working to track down at least 11 other kids who have been in what the Prosecutor calls their “circle of influence”.

The Chief said many of their names have changed, posing a big challenge.

If you have any information for investigators, you’re urged to call the police.

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