Traverse City News and Events

Morsels Owner Arraigned

By Beth Milligan | Nov. 29, 2023

Morsels owner Ed Witkowski was arraigned Wednesday in 86th District Court on multiple felony charges related to his alleged use of a secret surveillance camera in the women's restroom at the bakery. Witkowski is out on bond now, with his next court appearance scheduled for early January. His attorney negotiated Wednesday to modify some of the conditions of his bond.

Witkowski appeared by Zoom in front of Magistrate Tammi Rodgers. Witkowski, 49, is facing multiple charges including three counts of capturing/distributing images of an unclothed person, using a computer to commit a crime, and lying to a police officer. Capturing pictures or videos of an unsuspecting person who is naked or partially clothed "under circumstances in which the individual would have a reasonable expectation of privacy" is a felony under Michigan law. Distributing or transmitting those pictures or videos is also illegal. The penalty is up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. In many such cases, an additional charge of using a computer to commit a crime is added, which can also have a potentially lengthy prison term depending on the underlying offense. In an investigation into a felony punishable by four or more years in prison, as in this case, lying to the police is punishable by up to two years in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

According to a police report obtained by The Ticker through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Witkowksi allegedly installed a surveillance camera in an electrical outlet in the women’s restroom at Morsels, switched out the outlet when it was discovered by employees, and lied to the police about replacing it. Police discovered videos of three nude women using the Morsels restroom on Witkowski’s cell phone, one of whom appears to be under 18.

Appearing with attorney Michael Naughton - one of two attorneys retained by Witkowski, along with Jesse Williams - Witkowski waived his right to a speedy preliminary exam, which typically must take place within 21 days of arraignment. Naughton said he needs more time to review evidence, saying it will likely be an "intensive" process. He said he'd need at least 90 days, though Rodgers said that would be up to a district court judge to decide. The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Cooney, with a probable cause conference scheduled for January 4 at 2pm and a preliminary exam scheduled for January 11 at 11am.

Rodgers agreed to slightly relax some of Witkowski's bond conditions. He will be able to access Morsels now - which is "closed for the season," according to the company's website, though the business has traditionally operated year-round. Witkowski can do so to "button things up" at Morsels, Rodgers said, so long as no one else is present. Rodgers said the co-owner of Morsels - who in the past has been publicly identified as Witkowski's wife, Angie Witkowski - could also access the building. However, Witkowski told the magistrate there is no co-owner of Morsels.

Rodgers also said Witkowski could use a cell phone so long it has no camera or Internet; otherwise, he can use a land line. Witkowski can also now use the Internet but only to contact his attorneys or to access business records, such as banking or utility information, Rodgers said. Naughton assured Rodgers that Witkowski would stick to the conditions of his bond, saying he has no prior record and is "absolutely not a risk of flight" or a "danger to the community."

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