Suspect in torture case appears in court

MARQUETTE – Marquette County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Solka ruled on several motions Wednesday in the case against Ishpeming resident Jason David Sadowski, who is accused of torturing two Ishpeming women in the basement of his business and home in early July.

Sadowski’s attorney Dominic Andriacchi of ishpeming argued before Solka on four motions, including asking the judge for a state-funded private investigator, an order to conduct DNA testing on money Andriacchi alleged the two women had taken from Sadowski and hidden inside their bodies, a state-funded medical expert to examine photographs of the women’s alleged injuries and access to all the information stored on Sadowski’s cell phone, which is being held by police.

Andriacchi said a medical expert could confirm or deny their accusations by seeing the injuries in photographs.

Andriacchi also said a medical expert would be necessary in proving or disproving Sadowski had strangled the women, as both claim he did.

DNA testing was crucial to Sadowski’s case, Andriacchi said, because it could prove Sadowski’s assertion that the women had stolen “several hundred dollars” from him, and had hidden it inside themselves.

Both women denied in their Marquette County District Court preliminary examination testimony that they hid any money in their bodies and claimed they only took $4.

Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wiese took no position on the defense’s request for a private investigator and was willing to provide all the information stored on Sadowski’s cell phone.

However, Wiese said he was “not aware” of any science that could use testing to prove a DNA sample came from inside a woman’s body and that the DNA testing was unnecessary.

Solka ruled in favor of the defense on two motions, allowing up to $1,000 to be spent on a private investigator and ordering the prosecution to work with the defense in extracting the information stored on Sadowski’s cell phone – including text messages, photographs and phone numbers.

Solka ruled a medical expert was not necessary and that testimony from the women on what had happened to them could be challenged on cross examination.

Solka also ruled against the DNA testing, saying where the money came from or how much was taken was a “collateral matter” and if the defense wished to impeach the testimony of the two women on that issue it could do so on cross examination.

Sadowski has been charged with two counts each of torture, unlawful imprisonment and assault by strangulation, and one count each of criminal sexual conduct and solicitation of murder.

If convicted on the most serious of the charges, Sadowski could face life in prison.

He is being held in the County Jail without bond awaiting his Feb. 24 trial.

The two women alleged in their district court testimony they had met Sadowski outside an Ishpeming bar and he convinced them to return to his home on Cleveland Avenue with promises of marijuana and mixed martial arts lessons.

They said when they confessed they had stolen some money from him, he attacked them both, duct taping them to support posts in his basement, where they said they were held for hours.

Also involved in the case is Ishpeming resident Leroy Cope, 65, who police said was living with Sadowski at the time of the incident.

Cope has been charged with two counts each of torture and unlawful imprisonment.

Cope could also face life in prison if convicted.

He is in jail in lieu of a $500,000 cash or surety bond per count. Cope’s next court date is scheduled for Jan. 6 for a pretrial conference, with a jury trial set for Feb. 3.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.