On Tuesday, February 24, 28-year-old Eric Devin Masters appeared in court on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for the alleged rape of an 18-month-old toddler in 2012. Masters is accused of sexually assaulting the girl at a Byron Township motel over an eight-day period in 2012, and recording the assaults on video. Masters is considered a “sexual predator” by authorities, and was investigated by the FBI for sexually exploiting children between 2011 and 2013 in several Michigan counties. laptop-computers-1446068-m

According to a news article at WZZM13, Masters waived his probable cause hearing and was bound over to court. He was on probation for a sexual assault in Ionia County in 2013 when he was arrested, and had pleaded guilty in September of last year to other felony sex charges. Authorities said that it appears Masters does not stay in one place very long, and that he has addresses in numerous cities in Michigan. He had also been jailed earlier this month on sexual assault charges in Muskegon County.

News sources also reveal that Masters had produced sexually explicit material of children and posted the materials to the Internet, and was indicted on those charges in June.

Currently, Masters is held on a $250,000 bond and no trial date has been set for the rape charges. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Michigan sex crime attorneys know that there are individuals who commit horrendous crimes against children, and who truly are predators. In some circumstances, offenders deserve to be locked behind bars for years, or even for life. However, there are many occasions on which innocent individuals are accused of sexual crimes they did not commit. For example, a child may be coerced to fabricate a story by a parent who wants revenge against the other, or who is seeking sole custody of the children. Someone may claim he/she was sexually assaulted by another person when both had had too much to drink, and the sexual act was actually consensual.

There are many facts to every case that must be thoroughly reviewed and investigated. If you have been wrongly accused of rape or any offense that is sexual in nature, consult with an experienced Michigan sex crime defense lawyer immediately. The penalties for a conviction are extremely harsh; you must take action to protect your legal rights and freedom.

In late March of 2014, Evan Reed, who was then pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, allegedly sexually assaulted a 45-year-old woman in a MotorCity Casino hotel room. He was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, charges that were dismissed against the 28-year-old Reed in August of last year. Since that time, prosecutors have appealed the dismissal and rape charges have been reinstated against Reed, who is now facing trial. baseball-and-glove-over-white-1155890-m

Reed is no longer with the Detroit Tigers, however he is scheduled for trial in the alleged rape of the victim following a night of drinking at bars in the Royal Oak area. Prosecutors allege that Reed had non-consensual sex with the woman, who claims that she has no memory of what took place after she met the defendant at a Royal Oak bar.

According to a news article at Mlive.com, the couple went to a casino hotel after they finished drinking, where a surveillance video captured the alleged victim falling to the ground before Reed carried her inside. The judge who dismissed the charges against Reed earlier said that there appeared to be nothing wrong with the victim’s gait when she left the hotel just hours later as she descended six flights of stairs. Wayne County District Judge Kenneth King, who dismissed the case last August, said the woman did not appear incapacitated as she left the casino hotel.

Prosecutors did not present semen or rape kit evidence. Reed denies the allegations against him, maintaining that he did not sexually assault the woman in the hotel room as she claims he did.

Rape is a very serious charge, and unfortunately there are cases such as this one in which it is difficult to know what really happened. When drinking is involved, an individual’s memory may be severely impaired. The alleged victim said that she doesn’t remember what happened. Was the sex consensual, and is Reed innocent?

Michigan sex crime attorneys know that many of these types of cases are complex; getting to the real truth can be difficult. Regardless, those convicted of rape or other sex offenses face serious criminal penalties that often include years behind bars, or even life in some cases. The requirement to register as a sex offender is often the most damaging punishment of all.

If you have been accused of rape or any sex offense, consult with an aggressive Michigan sex crime lawyer immediately who will begin work to limit the damage and protect your legal rights and freedom.

On Tuesday evening, February 3, a Minnesota woman who is described in news reports as a “good Samaritan” was allegedly sexually assaulted and physically attacked by the man she pulled over to help along I-35 northbound near Esko, according to news reports at the Grand Forks Herald. starting-the-car-1194812-m

The incident took place between 10 and 11 p.m. when the woman pulled off the interstate to help a man whose Ford F-150 truck was apparently broken down. According to the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office, the truck was a 2003 model with and extended cab and black “matte” paint, with low profile tires and large black matte color wheels. The woman was allegedly attacked when she stopped to help the man, who is described as a white male with a medium build, in his late 20’s or early 30’s, with brown hair and a short beard. At the time of the attack, he was wearing blue jeans, black work boots, and a black Carhartt hoodie.

In an updated news report, authorities had released a sketch of the man they believe sexually assaulted and attacked the woman. Any potential witnesses have been asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 218-384-9520.

While news articles do not describe the sexual assault of the woman, in Michigan sexual assault includes any type of sexual behavior, contact, or penetration that is non-consensual, or in other words not agreed to by the victim. Sexual assault may involve forced penetration, what many refer to as rape, or it may involve touching or fondling of breasts, buttocks, inner thighs, the groin, or even the clothing that covers these areas of the body.

If the suspect in the above case did actually rape the woman, he may be facing extremely serious charges when found. In the state of Michigan, rape, a crime that is charged as first-degree criminal sexual conduct, carries a potential life prison term for those convicted. Factors such as age also play a role in the crime an individual may be charged with.

Regardless of the degree of the crime (first-, second-, third-, or fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct), those who are convicted face being labeled a sex offender by society, and often must register as a sex offender. This can impact an individual’s career, where they may live, and more.

If you have been accused of sexual assault, it is vital to consult with a highly skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crimes attorney. Your freedom, legal rights, and reputation are at risk. There are legal options which may be effective in limiting the damage to your life, and you are innocent until proven guilty. Take the first step, and speak with an experienced defense lawyer whose ultimate goal is to protect you from harsh criminal penalties.

Recently, 65-year-old Michael Ray Gwilliams was arrested in Florida for the alleged sexual assault of a 9-year-old girl over a period of one year. According to a news article at Mlive.com, Gwilliams had been under investigation for the sexual assault for about one year prior to his arrest. sad-little-girl-511477-m

Gwilliams, a resident of Bloomingdale, reportedly fled to Silver Springs, FL upon learning that he was under investigation. Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office received a report alleging the victim had been sexually assaulted multiple times over a one-year period in October of last year. Authorities apprehended Gwilliams in Florida after issuing a felony arrest warrant before he could carry out his plan to flee to Colorado, according to a news release issued by the sheriff’s office. The suspect was brought back to Michigan on January 28, and arraigned on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in the 7th District Court at South Haven.

Gwilliams was being held on a $5 million cash bond at the county jail at the time of news reports. He is charged as a habitual offender; if found guilty, he could face life in prison with no possibility of parole.

First-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious of all sex charges, and involves penetration. Individuals who are convicted of this offense may spend the rest of their lives behind bars. In cases involving a victim who is younger than 13, the mandatory minimum sentence is 25 years in prison. Considered a Tier 3 offense which is the highest level offender, those convicted will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

Sex-related crimes are a growing concern across the country, and while people are absolutely attacked and assaulted every day, there are countless cases in which innocent people are accused of crimes they did not commit. This is particularly troublesome when it comes to children, who may be coerced by adults into saying things or making accusations that are not true because the adult wants revenge or acts out of spite. Sadly, individuals who did not commit the terrible acts they are accused of sit behind bars today.

If you have been arrested or are under investigation for sexual assault, do not sit idly and allow your future to be determined by police or prosecutors. Work with a highly skilled Michigan sex crime attorney who will review the evidence, examine your legal options, and fight vigorously to obtain the most positive outcome possible.

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.