Joel DuFresne, an activist in the racist and anti-Semitic Creativity Movement, was convicted in Petoskey, Michigan, of nine felony sex crimes in which the victim was a former girlfriend.
DuFresne, 27, a resident of Alanson, was convicted on August 18, 2006, of three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, each of which carries a potential life sentence, and six counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was acquitted on three other charges.
In recent years, DuFresne, a “reverend” in the Creativity Movement, and fellow “reverend” James Logsdon had attempted to resurrect the group in the wake of the conviction of its leader, Matt Hale, on charges that he had solicited the murder of a federal judge in Chicago. DuFresne posted to a neo-Nazi Web forum in 2005 that he and others “have fought tooth and nail…to keep what we had and to reorganize in a manner that will be a hundred times stronger than what we had before.”
The charges against DuFresne stemmed from incidents over the previous year in which he forced his girlfriend to perform what court records described as “violent and perverse” sexual acts. The victim testified in court that DuFresne assaulted her several times and also forced her to engage in sexual acts by threatening harm to her and her family and to take her children away from her.
According to news reports, DuFresne’s attorney had argued that although there was at least one time where DuFresne beat the victim up “too much,” the acts were consensual.
DuFresne was arrested by federal marshals in February in Florida, where he had fled with the infant son he had fathered with the victim. DuFresne had named the baby after Matt Hale.
DuFresne served six years in prison in Michigan in the 1990s on home invasion and breaking and entering charges. In 1999, he joined the Creativity Movement, then known as the World Church of the Creator. Subsequently, he tried to reach out to prisoners to recruit them into the group.