Michael Walls, 54, is facing 24 felony rape counts, plus three other felony sex charges, relating to allegations he raped his daughter Megan Walls, now 22, for nearly a decade starting when she was a small child. Tandem Media Network does not normally identify crime victims, but Megan Walls requested her identity be published in news coverage.
It’s the second trial in this case: Michael Walls was convicted on all charges in 2016 and sentenced to multiple life sentences, but an appeals court reversed the conviction on a purported procedural mistake by the trial court.
Children services began investigating Michael Walls in 2013 after they received allegations of educational neglect and sexual abuse in the home, according to prior testimony.
Michael Walls admitted he neglected his children’s’ homeschooling, he denied allegations he’d raped Megan Walls when questioned by his attorney, John Toth.
“Looking back, I made horrible decisions, but I didn’t rape my children ever,” Michael Walls testified. “They were my life.”
Earlier in the day, assistant Erie County prosecutor Paulette Lilly played five of over 300 voice messages sent from Michael Walls to an email account used by Megan Walls following her being placed in foster care. The messages were sent at a time where Michael Walls was not allowed to contact his daughter, according to prior testimony.
In the messages, Michael Walls used profanities when describing children services and government workers as he instructed Megan Walls not to talk to social workers or police, and to get an attorney.
Lilly asked Micheal Walls if he taught his kids to distrust the government. He claimed his children “came to that determination themselves,” and then cited Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin and Nazi Germany dictator Adolf Hitler as examples of governments being the “biggest murderers” of people.
Michael Walls also testified a family member told him of alleged sexual misconduct between Megan Walls and another family member in his home. He testified he kicked the family member out of his residence after learning of the allegation.
When pressed on the issue by Lilly, Michael Walls admitted he “did nothing” for Megan Walls after the allegation. He claimed he didn’t report the incident to children services, when they began investigating him, because he didn’t want to put his family “in the hands of children services.”
On Monday, the first day of his trial, Michael Walls pleaded guilty to two counts of interfering with child custody. The charges stem from Michael Walls taking Megan Walls and another child to Florida in 2013 as Erie County children services gained emergency temporary custody of the children.
Michael Walls testified he knew the county had secured custody of the children but said he did not return to Ohio or answer calls from police and social workers because he “was not going to let that stop” his “planned vacation.”
Florida law enforcement eventually found and arrested Micheal Walls, and transferred custody of Megan Walls and the other child to children services.
Michael Walls claimed his daughter was not being truthful with her sexual abuse allegations.
“She came in here and did a whole lot of lying,” he testified. “I can only surmise she wants me to be punished.”
Judge Beverly McGookey read instructions to jurors Friday afternoon. Closing statements by both attorneys will start Monday morning, and jury deliberations will follow.