Pills for favors; doctor accused in Marquette County District Court

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - UPDATE: October 12th 2018 - Michael Varney has a preliminary scheduled in Dickinson County for October 25th. There's no scheduled arraignment date in Iron County.

Varney is charged with four counts of criminal sexual conduct to the first degree, 11 counts of controlled substance, delivery and manufacture of cocaine less than 50 grams, and eight counts of controlled substance, delivery and manufacture of marjijuana.
A U.P. psychologist charged with 50 felonies in three counties appeared in Marquette County District Court Thursday afternoon. 61-year-old Michael Varney of Caspian faces 3 counts of criminal sexual conduct, first degree; and 4 counts of delivery of a schedule 2 substance in Marquette County. Varney had his preliminary exam Thursday where two witnesses took the stand to give their testimony.

The first witness to take the stand was a former patient of Varney's who had sought his help treating her opioid addiction. She claims that rather than helping her get pills like suboxone to fight addiction, he instead gave her oxycodone and other gifts as payment for sexual favors.

Assistant Attorney General Diana Collins asked, “Then as a result of those sexual favors, what did he give you, or what did he do for you?"
The witness responded, “Then he gave me ‘oxy 80's’ and he gave me money to go school clothes shopping for my kids."

The defense argued that throughout the two year relationship, she never expressly declined these favors.

Defense Attorney Sarah Henderson asked, “You never told him, I’m not comfortable with you, I don't like you in this way, you never said any of those things to him, did you?”
The witness responded, “No, I didn't have to say them.”
Henderson said, “Well in your mind, you didn't.”
To which the witness replied, “No, not in anyone's mind. I shouldn't have to say that, he should know that.”

The defense argued further that Varney never even said that the sexual favors were necessary for the witness to receive the oxycodone.

“So is the answer that he didn't say it?" asked Henderson.
“I don't remember, he might have said it, he might not have, I really don't remember,” said the witness. “There was no need for him to say it, because he wasn’t' going to give them to me unless I did. As soon as I sent that picture, he was right there with them."

The witness approached the K.I.N.D. Drug Enforcement Team, claiming that Varney was offering her pills for sexual favors. The team monitored calls that they believe support that claim.

"There was sexual talk, that he would get a hotel room and she would have to pay him back,” said Dickinson County Undersheriff Scott Metras. “Also he would bring something that would keep her from getting sick, which i gathered to be more oxycodone."

Briefings from Thursday’s preliminary exam in Marquette County are due on November 5. No additional court date has been set yet. Varney was also arraigned in Dickinson County Thursday morning on charges of criminal sexual conduct 1st degree, delivery of a schedule 2 substance, and delivery of marijuana. He still faces charges in Iron County as well.

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