HOUGHTON, Mich. (WZMQ) – UPDATE: Three men have been arrested by the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office after a several week investigation by a human trafficking task force.
Former Finlandia University professor Juan Marin, of Hancock, was one of the three men. The other two suspects are Peter Hallesy, 38, from Kearsarge; and Trenton Kyllonen, 36, from Lake Linden.
All three of the suspects talked with undercover deputies who were posing as minors, and were subsequently arrested when they arrived at a location to have sex with a minor.
Each of the suspects were charged the by State of Michigan Attorney General’s Office for the following offenses:
- Child Sexually Abusive Activity, a felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or $100,000. Conviction of this offense also carries requirements to register as a sex offender under the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act.
- Use of a Computer to Commit Child Sexually Abusive Activity, a felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or $20,000. This charge carries with it the possibility of a consecutive sentence that is within the discretion of the sentencing court.
- Accosting a Child for Immoral Purposes, a felony with a maximum penalty of 4 years in prison and/or $4,000. Conviction of this offense also carries requirements to register as a sex offender under the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act.
- Computers, using a computer to commit a crime. A felony punishable up to 4 years and less than 10.
The task force is a multi-county effort comprised of members of the sheriff’s offices from Houghton, Baraga, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties. The operation was also assisted by the Hancock City Police Department.
In a press release, Houghton County Sheriff Joshua Saaranen said he, “Appreciates the collaboration between the four-county sheriff’s and the local municipal police agencies. We’re working together to not only take predators into custody but to also make sure that there are strong avenues for individuals and victims to receive advocacy and help.”
If you or a loved one have been harmed by any one of these three individuals, please come forward and contact the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office at (906)482-0055.
The task force also partners with the Upper Peninsula Human Trafficking Task Force (UPHTTF), a nonprofit NGO that set forth the following goal to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases at the local, state and federal levels.
A 24/7 confidential helpline, operated by the UPHTTF is available to the public to call for advocacy and help (906) 299-9243 or upht123.org
A former Finlandia University professor is facing multiple child sex crime charges.
Juan Marin, 47, is charged with accosting a child for immoral purposes, child sexually abusive activity, and two counts of using a computer to commit a crime. All four charges are felonies. Court records show the date of offense was July 13, 2023.
The Houghton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to WZMQ that Marin was a math professor at Finlandia University. His biography on Finlandia’s website shows he was with the university since 2011.
Chassell School Board meeting minutes from May 15, 2023 show Marin was being considered as a new hire to teach middle and high school math. Chassell Township Schools’ superintendent Marco Guidotti confirms “CTS planned for Juan Marin to teach math beginning with the upcoming 2023-24 school year, pending a background check.”
In a statement to WZMQ, Guidotti said, “The district recently became aware of the situation and the matter is currently under review.”
Court records show Marin is scheduled for arraignment in Houghton County’s 97th District Court on August 7.
The Houghton County Jail confirms he was released from the jail July 15.
This is a developing story. WZMQ has been in contact with the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office and will update this article as more details are released.