A woman who claims she was sexually assaulted numerous times in 1990 and 1991 by Pleasant Ridge and Garden City police officers and employees has now filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking more than $75,000 in damages. The woman, who is now 40 years old, claims that she turned to drugs and prostitution after her dreams of becoming a police officer were dashed by the alleged sexual attacks. police-on-the-scene-1172422-m

At the time of the abuse, the woman was 15 and 16 years old, and participating in a program training her to become a police officer. From 1989 to 1992, the victim participated in the Garden City Police Explorer Post, a program that made it possible for teens to explore a potential career in law enforcement. According to her lawsuit, she suffered both emotional and physical abuse which led to a career as a prostitute; she also battled drug addiction through August of 2013.

Some of those named as defendants in the lawsuit include Pleasant Ridge Police Chief Kevin Nowak, Garden City police officers Thomas Wallace and Mark D’Onofrio, Richard Sundstrom, a civilian employee of the Garden City police department, retired detective sergeant Fred Sayger, Executive Director of the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards David Harvey, and Michael Bertha.

Earlier this month, the defendants argued that the case could not move forward due to the amount of time that has passed; they filed an order seeking to apply the statutes of limitations as a defense.

The alleged victim claims that during the 1990-1991 time period, she was sexually assaulted five or six times by Wallace while he was on duty, twice by Nowak, once at his home and once in his patrol car while he was on duty, by D’Onofrio at his home, and on other occasions. According to her attorney, the woman’s life has been destroyed.

These types of cases are particularly difficult, as so much time has passed. Proving sexual assault or rape can be extremely difficult for prosecutors, particularly when there is a lack of physical evidence. Today, DNA technology makes it easier to prove a case, however in 1990 and 1991 the technologies available to investigators were far less advanced.

While the article does not mention whether the defendants are facing criminal charges, most individuals who are accused of rape or sexual penetration are charged with first- or third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Regardless, the consequences of a conviction are extremely serious, and may include substantial prison time, registration as a sex offender, and more. Even being accused of a crime that is sexual in nature can tarnish a person’s reputation and career.

If you have been accused of sexual assault, do not hesitate before contacting a skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crime defense attorney.

In the early morning hours of Monday, January 19, a 25-year-old woman was allegedly sexually assaulted after she was approached from behind in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, according to a news article at the Chicago Tribune. chicago-alley-1159929-m

The victim was on West Pierce Avenue walking on the sidewalk when the attack took place, according to Veejay Zala, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department. The woman told police that the man threw her to the ground and sexually assaulted her near an alley after ripping her pants off. When the victim screamed for help, she caught the attention of someone passing by the area, who verbally challenged the woman’s attacker, causing him to flee the scene. The victim was taken to an area hospital.

At the time of news reports, police were still looking for the man who is described as a black man wearing a dark coat and pants, approximately 180 to 220 lbs., between 5′ 8″ and 6′ tall, somewhere between 25 and 40 years of age. He may have also been carrying a handgun.

Sexual assault, or rape, is a very serious crime regardless of what state it occurs in. In Michigan, the most serious sex crime is first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which involves penetration. The maximum prison term if convicted is life in prison. In addition, depending on the victim’s age, the offender may be sentenced to the mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison.

When it comes to punishment, first-degree CSC is a criminal offense comparative to murder in terms of prison time. While some defendants may serve only a short time in jail/prison depending on the circumstances and the sex offense he/she is charged with, it is often the requirement to register as a sex offender that is most damaging to a person’s life. Sex offenders are shunned by society, and cannot live anywhere they choose to. Their status as a sex offender will also impact employment opportunities.

If you have been arrested or are under investigation for allegedly committing sexual assault or any sex-related offense, consult with a highly experienced and aggressive Michigan sex crime defense lawyer immediately. It is vital you take action quickly in order to mitigate the damage and negative consequences to your life.

On Tuesday, January 13, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs suspended 60-year-old Richard Ferguson’s license to practice medicine, according to a news article at the Detroit Free Press. Ferguson pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a patient in August of 2014; he allegedly assaulted the victim under the pretense of therapy. stethoscope-1-1080174-m

Ferguson was working at Little Traverse Bay Family Medicine in June of 2012 when he treated the female patient for what authorities said were repercussions and flashbacks of sexual abuse at a younger age. The doctor is alleged to have sexually assaulted the woman on several occasions, and also employed her at his office.

Ferguson pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit sexual penetration. In October, he was sentenced to three years and two months to 10 years in prison.

In the state of Michigan, assault with intent to commit sexual penetration is a felony offense that not only puts the accused individual’s freedom at stake if convicted, but his/her reputation and career as well. As is the case above, those who hold professional licenses may have them suspended. In addition, anyone found guilty of this offense will be registered as a sex offender which impacts not only reputation, but where the defendant can live, employment opportunities, and more.

Sex crimes are some of the most serious of all, whether a person is accused of rape, child molestation, possession of child pornography, Internet sex crimes, or soliciting for prostitution. Regardless of the offense you have been accused of, it is vital to work with an experienced and aggressive Michigan sex crime attorney who will do all possible to protect your freedom, reputation, and future. When facing serious criminal charges, it is never a good idea to go it alone – and your freedom is at risk.

On New Year’s Eve, Chicago police officers noticed a vehicle that was partially blocking an alley and double parked, according to a news article at the Chicago Tribune. As they approached the vehicle, Cook County sheriff’s Deputy Fernando B. Rodriguez attempted to send the officers away, telling them that it was “OK,” he was on the job. Rodriguez was not on duty at the time, however a woman jumped out of the passenger side of the car and told police what happened. tunnel-with-police-car-1015021-m

According to the woman, who was a known prostitute to police, Rodriguez asked her to get into the car. He then displayed a holstered handgun, told her he was a police officer, and according to Beth Novy, Assistant State’s Attorney, told the woman that he would let her go “if she handled this the right way.” Rodriguez was arrested after it was determined that he was not on duty and was not acting in an official capacity. In addition, Novy alleged that police had seen Rodriguez driving around in the area, which is known for prostitution, in November.

Rodriguez, who began working for Cook County in July of 1991, is charged with felony attempted aggravated criminal sexual assault.

In the state of Michigan, sexual assault includes attempted rape or unwanted conduct including groping, touching, or other activity that does not include sexual intercourse. Charged as criminal sexual conduct, those who are found guilty may face a substantial number of years behind bars, and be required to register as a sex offender.

Sex crimes are extremely serious, even when a prostitute is involved. It is unlawful to use a weapon such as a handgun, knife, or other object to inflict fear in another person in order to force him or her to engage in sexual activity.

If you have been accused of sexual assault, rape, child molestation, or any sex offense, it is vital that you take action to protect your freedom and reputation. Consult with an experienced and aggressive Michigan sex crime attorney who will work closely with you to determine the best legal options and how to proceed so that the desired outcome can be reached.

Recently, 38-year-old Michael B. Wade of Bay City was arraigned on a single count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a victim who was younger than 13 when the assault occurred more than two years ago. sad-silhouette-1080946-m

A warrant for the defendant was issued in October of 2013, more than one year ago, although there is no explanation given in court records as to why there was such a long gap between when the warrant was issued and Wade’s December 29, 2014 arraignment.

First-degree criminal sexual conduct involves penetration with a maximum prison term of life; because the alleged victim was younger than 13 at the time, the mandatory minimum prison sentence Wade would face if convicted is 25 years.

The charge against Wade stems from a Bay City girl who was 12 at the time telling a forensic interviewer that the defendant had sexual relations with her in August of 2012. According to Wade’s attorney, his client denies engaging in any type of criminal activity with the alleged victim. Wade is looking forward to getting his day in court so that he can put these accusations behind him, his lawyer says.

Bay County District Judge Timothy J. Kelly set Wade’s bond at $500,000. In the event he posts the bond, he is ordered to have no contact with the girl.

In situations such as this, Michigan sex crime attorneys have to ask why someone who claims to have been sexually assaulted would wait for nearly 2 1/2 years to come forward. While the news report does not indicate whether the alleged victim and Wade knew each other, it is not unusual for children to make false allegations, particularly when coerced or encouraged by a family member or someone else to do so. Without compelling physical evidence, it is easy to see how an innocent individual could be wrongly convicted of rape or other sex crimes.

Anyone who has been accused of sexual assault or any sex-related offense must work with a Michigan sex crime lawyer who is highly qualified in these types of cases. Your freedom and reputation are at risk; seek capable and aggressive legal counsel right away.

On Monday December 29, Chicago Police announced that formal charges had been filed against 30-year-old Maxime Fohounhedo, an Uber driver, for allegedly sexually assaulting a 22-year-old woman who called for the cab service back in November following a night out with friends. new-york-times-square-1443347-m

According to the Business Insider, the victim had been drinking and requested the cab service at about 2:30 a.m. on November 16. Upon getting into the cab, she fell asleep. Fohounhedo then allegedly told her to sit in the front seat of the cab, as he was not familiar with the area of her destination. The woman claims that she was “super” drunk in a text to a friend, however she woke up in an apartment and found Fohounhedo on top of her. She told the friend she later texted to remind her to follow through to make certain this “never happens again.”

Assistant state’s attorney Robert Mack said that after the sexual assault, Fohounhedo drove the woman home in his cab and told her “I made you happy.” A news article at the Chicago Sun Times states that the woman sought medical treatment at Swedish Covenant Hospital, according to police.

Fohounhedo was charged with one count each of criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault. His bail was set at $500,000 by Judge Peggy Chiampas.

In Illinois, there is no such crime as rape, however criminal sexual assault involves penetration, and is a Class 1 felony. If convicted, the offender will face a maximum a 15 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000. Registration as a sex offender is also a requirement.

In the state of Michigan, the same offense is known as first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Individuals found guilty of this offense will face a maximum term of life in prison, and in some cases, depending on the victim’s age and other factors, the mandatory minimum sentence the defendant must serve is 25 years.

The penalties for first-degree CSC in Michigan can be as serious as those incurred by individuals who are found guilty of committing murder. If you have been arrested or are under investigation, your freedom and future are at risk. Do not face prosecution without the legal guidance and support of a highly qualified Michigan sex crime attorney, who will work to reach positive results in your case.

JL Mack, a 54-year-old Muskegon County man, was recently charged with allegedly fondling a 12-year-old boy according to a news article at Mlive.com. Mack is accused of fondling the genital area of the victim at the victim’s home earlier this month; he allegedly fondled the boy underneath his clothing. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

According to Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Maat, the boy reported the incident immediately to his mother, who then made a complaint to the police. Maat also said that the alleged offender is an acquaintance of the boy’s family, and that at this time it appears to be an isolated incident. There are no known previous complaints of a sexual nature, however Mack does have convictions on his criminal record from years ago involving retail fraud, larceny, burglary, and marijuana.

Although Mack was charged with one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, his bond was set at $250,000 cash or surety. Second-degree CSC indicates that forcible contact took place.

In the state of Michigan, all sex crimes are serious, whether an individual is charged with first-, second-, third-, or fourth-degree CSC. First-degree involves penetration, and is the most serious of all sex crimes leaving those convicted facing harsh penalties that include a maximum of life in prison.

Second-degree CSC may result in a prison term of up to 15 years and electronic monitoring for life if the accused is found guilty. In addition, he/she will be labeled a sex offender, as it is required those convicted of this offense register on Michigan’s sex offender registry.

Being convicted of a sex crime can result in loss of your freedom, ruin of your career and reputation, even loss of the privilege to live wherever you like and other privileges. No matter how minor or serious the accusations may seem, it is important that you consult with a highly skilled Michigan sex crime attorney who is capable of securing good results, and who has a proven track record in these types of cases.

On Thursday, December 18, 22-year-old Kevin D. Champion was sentenced to 22 years and one month to 40 years in prison for the 2011 rape of a woman at gunpoint, according to a news article at Mlive.com. Protecting Yourself Against Personal Crimes Pic

In July, Champion pleaded no contest as charged to one count each of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a weapon, armed robbery, kidnapping, and extortion, and three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a weapon. The crimes occurred in late September of 2011 outside 2001 Limerick at Webber on Saginaw’s southeast side.

In March, the victim testified at Champion’s preliminary hearing, but could not identify him as the offender. The Michigan State Police crime lab conducted tests that indicated a semen stain on the woman’s hoodie matched samples of Champion’s DNA.

Champion is currently serving five to 17 years for incidents that occurred in 2011 and 2013 involving second-degree home invasion, larceny in a building, and other crimes. He will serve the 22 to 40 years sentence concurrently with the sentence he is currently serving.

Rape is the most serious of all sex crimes, and is considered first-degree criminal sexual conduct, an offense that carries a maximum term of life in prison. The sentence handed down on Thursday is harsh, however likely not as harsh as it may have been had Champion not pleaded no contest to the charges and gone to trial on a not guilty plea.

Today, DNA evidence makes it tougher to defend allegations of rape and other sex crimes, however DNA on its own does not necessarily mean the alleged offender will be found guilty. It all depends on the circumstances and specific facts of each case. If you have been accused of rape, child pornography, Internet sex crimes, or any similar offense, a highly skilled Michigan sex crime attorney will work to protect your legal rights and minimize the damage, advising you of all of the legal options and the best way to proceed for the desired outcome. Do not face charges of sexual assault or rape without the legal guidance and support of a capable defense lawyer.

On Thursday December 18, a 27-year-old East Lansing man was sentenced to 46 to 100 years in prison for committing several sexual attacks on women in the area, according to an article at the Lansing State Journal. Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said that the defendant, Oswald Scott Wilder Jr., was a ‘sexual psychopath’ and a predator against women after he terrorized women in the East Lansing area last year. doodled-desks-2-1193228-m

Between March 30 and May 16 of 2013, Wilder sexually assaulted four female MSU students. He pleaded guilty in September of this year to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, and gross indecency by a sexually delinquent person.

Wilder admitted at a September plea hearing that he sexually assaulted and attempted to sexually assault the four MSU students over a two month time period. He said the during the incidents, he was high on crack cocaine. He blamed the drugs, saying they increased his desire for sex. News reports state that Wilder was remorseful at his sentencing hearing, saying that he realized what he had done was wrong, and that he felt so bad for what had happened. He said that he could not turn back time.

Ingham County Assistant Prosecutor Steve Kwasnik said that Wilder is a predator who was “out prowling,” hunting for people in East Lansing.

Even if Wilder serves the minimum of 46 years in prison, he will be in his mid 70’s before being released, if he in fact does not spend more time behind bars.

While the acts Wilder admitted to are horrendous, Michigan sex crime attorneys know that many people are wrongly accused of sexual assault, rape, child molestation, and other crimes. If you have been arrested or are under investigation for a similar offense, it is imperative that you consult with a seasoned Michigan sex crime defense lawyer right away. Your freedom, reputation, and career are at risk; don’t put yourself further at risk by failing to work with a skilled defense attorney.

On December 17, an article was published on the NFL website regarding the San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald. According to the article, McDonald is suspected of sexual assault, and is under investigation. His San Jose home was searched by San Jose Police Department detectives, according to Sgt. Heather Randol. football-field-1430512-4-m

On Tuesday evening, an area hospital notified the department that a woman, allegedly the victim, was seeking medical treatment. She told police that she was “possibly” sexually assaulted by McDonald, however no arrest had been made at the time of the news article.

The league is investigating the matter, according to an NFL spokesperson. In addition, Trent Baalke, general manager for the 49ers, said on Monday that the decision was made by the team to release McDonald from his contract.

In November, McDonald was investigated for domestic violence stemming from an August 31 arrest; no charges were filed. After this second incident, Baalke said that “This is about a pattern of poor behavior.” He said that the team is not willing to deal with it anymore, and that players are expected to practice good behavior.

News reports do not reveal any details of the alleged sexual assault, only that the victim says she may have “possibly” been sexually assaulted one day prior to her hospital visit.

Accusations of sexual assault are extremely serious. In the state of Michigan, if penetration is involved, a person may be charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct. This offense leaves the accused facing a maximum prison term of life if convicted. Even those who are charged with less serious sex crimes may spend substantial time behind bars. A criminal record will impact the individual’s employment opportunities and more. In addition, most people who are found guilty or who plead guilty to a sex crime will be required to register as a sex offender. This is perhaps the worst punishment of all, as those labeled sex offenders are looked down upon by society, and cannot choose where they live. There are also other laws that apply to sex offenders.

If you have been accused of sexual assault, do not hesitate before contacting a highly skilled Michigan sex crimes defense attorney. Your reputation, freedom, and career are in jeopardy; take action now.