Testimony begins in kidnapping & torture trial

Nine women and five men have been selected to round out the jury for a kidnapping and torture trial involving two Ishpeming men. ABC 10 senior reporter Mike Hoey was in the courtroom as Jason Sadowski and Charles Cope went to trial.

On July 2nd, 2013, Jason Sadowski asked two women that he met outside an Ishpeming bar to come back with him to his mixed martial arts studio. Marquette County Prosecutor Matt Wiese says the two women went with Sadowski willingly, stole some money from him and confessed what they had done. Wiese claims Sadowski overreacted out of all proportion to their actions.

“At one point, he (Sadowski) has a knife-like object or a sword,” Wiese said. “It’s described in the (preliminary exam) testimony where he leads them down the basement stairs. And he, and defendant Cope, either directly or (through) Mr. Sadowski telling Cope to do this, they duct-tape these two women to basement posts.”

In his opening statement, Wiese said the evidence will show that Charles Cope, who lived in the basement of the studio, helped Sadowski restrain, assault and torture the women. Wiese claims Sadowski forced one of the women, Alleged Victim 1 for the purposes of this story, to sexually abuse the other alleged victim in an attempt to recover the stolen money. He also claims that Sadowski wanted Alleged Victim 1 to kill Alleged Victim 2.

“He said, ‘the only way you’re getting out of this is if you kill her’, and he didn’t use nice language like that,” Wiese said.

Sadowski’s attorney, Timothy Quinnell, said that there are no fingerprints on the knife or sword his client is said to have used or on the marijuana pipe that was allegedly smoked that night. “We have no DNA evidence of any duct–tape fragments,” Quinnell said. “We have no DNA evidence of the fake fingernails that the police left behind. We have no DNA evidence, period.”

Charles Cope’s attorney, Karl Numinen, said both alleged victims testified at the preliminary exam in this case that Cope talked tough when Sadowski was in the room but became a completely different person when Sadowski was out of the room. “As soon as Mr. Sadowski leaves the room, Mr. Cope is like, ‘I can’t help you; I can’t call the police. I can’t untie you because he’ll kill all three of us if that happens. Let’s just get through this.’ ”

Testimony began late Tuesday afternoon with police officers that responded to the scene. The testimony is expected to continue through the end of the day on Thursday, and the jury is expected to receive the case for deliberation sometime on Friday.