victim-shadowAbraham Rosales, also known as Abraham McCombs, was recently arraigned on charges of extortion and third-degree criminal sexual conduct in the alleged rape of a teenage girl, according to a news article at Mlive.com.  Rosales, 28, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to cause great bodily harm in August of 2004; he pleaded no contest to the same charge in connection with an incident which occurred in August of 2006 in Isabella County.

On April 4, a 14-year-old girl was interviewed at the Nathan Weidner Children’s Advocacy Center.  In the interview, she said that Rosales, whom she called “Peeps,” bought some food for her and took her to a party store in the vicinity after picking her up from her home; he then took her back to her Bay City home.  Upon arriving, he parked near the residence where the alleged victim said he began kissing her, then raped her.  The girl said that afterward, Rosales told her that if she told anyone about the situation, he would kill her.

Rosales was later interviewed by police.  In the interview, Rosales said that he believed the girl was 17 years old, and that the sex was consensual.  He initially denied knowing the victim, but confessed that he did know her after being presented with more information. Continue reading →

student-cryingAndrea Michelle Cardosa, a 40-year-old former school administrator, is facing 16 felony counts after she allegedly sexually assaulted two girls in recent years, one of whom was under 14 at the time, and one that was 14 or 15 years old, according to a news article at NBC Los Angeles.  The allegations came to light when one of the alleged victims posted a video titled “A call to my childhood rapist teacher” on YouTube.

In January, the first victim who was referred to in news reports as Jane Doe 1 learned that her former teacher was now employed in the capacity of assistant principal at a high school in Los Angeles County.  Jane Doe 1 was allegedly sexually assaulted from 1997 to 2001 and is now an adult.  Jane Doe 1 called Cardosa upon finding this out, and taped the conversation using both audio and video.  She then uploaded the conversation to YouTube, where it had more than one million views.

After the video went viral, a second alleged victim came forward, claiming she has been one of Cardosa’s victims in 2009 or 2010 when she attended a Perris high school.  The YouTube video is now considered critical evidence in the case against Cardosa, and has been removed from the site. Continue reading →

man in hand cuffsA Michigan man has been charged with 35 crimes connected to the alleged sexual assault of four teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 15, according to a news article at Mlive.com.  67-year-old Benny R. Grimes of Taylor has been charged with multiple counts of child sexual abusive activity, first- and second-degree sexual assault, and using a computer to commit a crime.  He remains in jail and has been denied bail.

On April 7 the Melvindale Police Department received a complaint regarding an incident which allegedly occurred in Taylor.  Grimes is accused of both sexually assaulting the girls in addition to videotaping and photographing the victims while they were engaged in sexual acts.  Grimes was arrested on April 8th, and is scheduled to appear in 23rd District Court on April 21 for a preliminary exam.

First-degree sexual assault, or criminal sexual conduct, is the most serious sex offense of all in the state of Michigan.  Individuals who are found guilty will face criminal penalties which include up to life in prison.  A felony offense, first-degree CSC involves penetration, and is a charge incurred when certain circumstances accompany the penetration, such as the fact that the victim or victims are between the ages of 13 and 16.  Continue reading →

internet-dangerEarlier this month, a Kentwood man was arrested for allegedly producing child pornography and using Skype to distribute it on the Internet, according to a news article at Mlive.com.  28-year-old Clint Andrews Williamson is accused of sexually assaulting a 2-year-old relative.  Williamson has been charged with one count of distributing child pornography over the Internet, and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor for producing child pornography.

FBI began investigating Williamson, who they believed was using a website dedicated to child pornography sharing.  The website allegedly is not accessible via Google, and can be used only by individuals who know the specific address.  Timothy Simon, FBI special agent, said that Maryland police are investigating the website, which includes forums with members who talk about how to avoid trouble in the CP world, violent sexual assaults of young children, and even killing children.  Simon said that the primary purpose of the website’s bulletin board is for users to advertise and distribute child porn.

Investigators found that the website had nearly 7,800 members after seizing the computer where the site was hosted in August.  After an extensive investigation, Williamson was identified as a member going by the user name of “thefristcatsiam.”  Simon wrote that last year, Williamson posted images of a naked man and young girl on the website.  Prior to Christmas 2013, Williamson’s Kentwood home was searched by police.  In journals he kept after his home was raided, Williamson described himself as a “monster.” Continue reading →

In 1996, Steven D. Young, a Bangor Township resident, pleaded no contest to a single count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim younger than 13 years of age.  He was sentenced to eight to 30 years in prison the following February, and paroled by the Michigan Department of Corrections in May of 2012.  Now, Young faces up to 15 years in prison for violating his parole after authorities discovered that Young maintains a Facebook page under another name, and runs an off-the-books tattoo parlor.
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According to a news report at Mlive.com, an unnamed tipster informed the Bay City Public Safety Department about Young’s Facebook page, saying that Young was using the name Steve Wolcott and that he was becoming friends on the social media site with single mothers of young children.  Bay City police then contacted a Sex Offender Registry Coordinator at the Michigan State Police Tri-City Post.

Young had apparently posted a picture of himself giving another man a tattoo in a kitchen, which the tipster compared with a mug shot of Young.  The tipster then provided police with the picture from “Wolcott’s” Facebook page along with a mug shot of Young for comparison.  Police determined that Steve Wolcott was indeed Steven D. Young.

Young first denied having the Facebook page, but then admitted that he uses the site to communicate with his girlfriend who lives in Australia.  He claimed that his sister created the Facebook account.  When asked about the tattooing, Young said that he tattoos only family members and friends, and that he had learned the skill while he was in prison after earning an art degree.

Young was charged with body art facility – general violations, and failure to comply with the Sex Offenders Registration Act.  Young was not allowed to own a device or computer, which allowed him to access the Internet as a condition of his parole.  He was also not allowed to possess or consume alcohol, which officers discovered he did after administering a Breathalyzer test which revealed Young’s blood alcohol content to be 0.21.

Young will face up to 15 years in prison due to his status as a habitual offender.  His trial date is pending after waiving his right to a preliminary examination on March 20.

Sex offense attorneys understand the hardships individuals who have been convicted of a sex crime face.  As is indicated in this story, those on parole are not allowed to possess a computer, smartphone, or any device making it possible to access the Internet.  In addition, registered sex offenders generally have a hard time getting a job as employers are hesitant to hire someone who is a known sex offender.  Sex offenders cannot choose to live anywhere they want to, and are usually shunned by society.

It is critical that anyone accused of a sex-related offense such as sexual assault, possession of child pornography, or rape consult with a highly skilled Michigan sex crimes attorney right away.  Your lawyer will work vigorously to protect your freedom, reputation, and future.

On Monday March 31, Jackson County District Judge Michael Klaeren found that there was probable cause to send the case of a 73-year-old Jackson man accused of sexually abusing three young girls to circuit court. Dwight Edward Rupert has been charged with four counts each of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct in a case involving three girls he once babysat, according to news reports at Mlive.com. grandpa-in-the-fields-148180-m

The alleged victims who are now ages 7, 8, and 9, testified on Monday in a courtroom which was closed to the public. The three girls are sisters according to the report, two of them biological sisters and one a stepsister. The girls were allegedly sexually abused between June of 2011 and May of 2013. Rupert is accused of touching the girls in a sexual manner during this time, and committing acts that involve penetration with two of the victims.

Rupert was considered “family,” according to the 9-year-old girl’s mother, who said that the girl’s grandmother and Rupert’s wife are close friends. She testified that she contacted authorities last summer after she and her husband were told bout the sexual abuse by the girls.

If convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Rupert could spend the rest of his life in prison.

First-degree CSC is the most serious of all sex crimes, and involves penetration. Individuals who are found guilty of this offense may be sentenced to a maximum prison term of life in prison.

Criminal cases involving young children are extremely delicate. While there is no doubt that children are sexually abused every day in our country, there are also many instances in which innocent individuals are falsely accused of these heinous crimes. Children are easily influenced, and often coerced by adults to make up stories that aren’t true. Hopefully the truth will win out in this case.

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On Friday, March 28, 43-year-old Ramiro Sanchez of Detroit was sentenced to 6 to 15 years in prison for raping a girl last summer, according to news reports at Mlive.com. Sanchez allegedly raped a 15-year-old girl with Down Syndrome in Hubbard Farms. Sanchez’s attorney said that his client suffers from depression and bipolar disorder, and that years ago Sanchez suffered a brain injury. Following the rape of the victim, Sanchez was reportedly beaten by vigilantes and hospitalized for his injuries. Michigan Department of Corrections Struggles With Budget Challenges Pic

The defendant pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct. While Sanchez was interviewed by police shortly after the sexual assault, it was October before he was charged as authorities were waiting on the results of a DNA test. State police claim that once the rape kit evidence was collected, it was nearly three weeks before it was delivered to the forensic lab. Founder of the Clark Park Coalition Deb Sumner said that there is a disconnect somewhere, and that sitting on evidence indicated there was “something wrong” with the Detroit Police Department Sex Crimes Unit.

The victim’s parents requested that the judge in the case send Sanchez to a mental illness treatment facility. The girl’s mother said in a statement that a traditional prison sentence would not help the defendant in rehabilitating.

Sanchez allegedly raped the girl in his apartment on July 17 of 2013. Approximately three weeks later, he was beaten with a baseball bat as he was walking near Giovanna’s Lounge after a man on a bicycle was reportedly seen riding up to Sanchez on a bicycle, then asking him if he liked raping little girls. It is believed Sanchez was beaten by a total of five individuals that day.

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In 2011, a woman who is now 41 years old was allegedly raped near a playground at Jessie Loomis Elementary School by someone she claimed was following her. Now, a judge in the case is asking for additional DNA information after the woman could not identify 21-year-old Kevin D. Champion Jr., her alleged attacker. dna-1-1010760-m

According to a news article at Mlive.com, reports which were introduced at Champion’s March 24 preliminary hearing regarding crime lab test results from Michigan State Police were not specific enough. The DNA sample taken from Champion when the defendant was placed into the prison system matches a semen stain found on the victim’s hoodie, however Saginaw County District Judge Kyle Higgs Tarrant said that she was not comfortable with the lack of definitiveness.

Champion was charged with armed robbery, extortion, second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a weapon, kidnapping, and three counts of first-degree CSC involving a weapon after allegedly attacking the victim, who had purchased an item for her neighbor at the T & M Market and was walking back toward her home at approximately 9 p.m. The victim claimed her attacker dragged her near the school’s playground area after placing her in a headlock.

She testified in court that she could not see all of her attacker’s face because of the hoodie he wore, and that he was armed with a silver gun which he threatened to hurt her with if she wasn’t quiet. The woman alleged that her attacker took her money and cell phone after taking off her shoes. He then proceeded to remove her pants before raping her.

Saginaw Police Officer Jonathon Beyerlein responded after one of the victim’s friends called 911. At trial, he testified that the victim could not identify Champion; two years later, she still could not identify him in a photo lineup after authorities had determined that the first DNA sample taken from Champion matched the evidence found on the woman’s hoodie. Champion is 5′ 8″ tall and weighs 145 pounds, however the woman described her attacker as about 5′ 6″ tall and weighing about 140 pounds. While she described him as tall, she explained during her testimony that because she is under 5 feet tall, someone who is 5′ 6″ is tall in comparison. The woman also described her attacker as “light skinned,” a description the defendant’s attorney said was a matter of opinion.

The remainder of Champion’s preliminary hearing has been postponed until the results of the second DNA swab are obtained, which Saginaw County Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Barnes said could take three to six months.

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In December of last year, 47-year-old James D. Card of Bay City was charged with sexually assaulting a woman in a Bangor Township home while she slept. The woman told authorities that she told the defendant to stop, but he persisted. Now, a jury as acquitted Card of the charges, finding him not guilty after only 20 minutes of deliberating according to a news article at Mlive.com. bedtime-2-1122196-m

Card was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in the August 2012 incident. Card’s defense attorney said that his client maintained his innocence, and that it was a consensual, sexual relationship.

The alleged victim was sleeping in the defendant’s home when she made the accusation. According to his defense lawyer, Card said that the woman was upset due to the fact that her boyfriend found out she had slept at his home, so she alleged that he had raped her. Card and the woman had reportedly had a few drinks at a couple of bars before going to his home and having sex. Card did not testify at trial. Had he been found guilty, the criminal penalties include up to 15 years in prison.

This incident clearly demonstrates how easily an innocent individual can be accused – and even charged – with a crime he or she did not commit. Accusations of sexual assault or rape are extremely serious; in cases where an individual is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, the maximum punishment is life in prison if found guilty. Being labeled a sex offender can also destroy a person’s life, career, and reputation.

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Keith Darrius Manders, a 20-year-old Grand Rapids resident, was recently charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, and first-degree home invasion in connection with a March 8 incident at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, according to news reports at Mlive.com. Police allege Manders was roaming the halls of the hotel in search of a victim to sexually assault. hotel-room-1073673-m

Police claim Manders was at the hotel at approximately 1 a.m. on the day in question, and that as he wandered the halls, he listened at the doors before choosing a room at which he would knock on the door. Grand Rapids Police Lt. Patrick Merrill said that when the woman in the room at which he knocked answered the door, Manders told her he needed toilet paper. He allegedly attacked her as she turned away from the door. Police say the woman was not injured, but that Manders groped her before she could break loose from him.

Merrill stated that it was unusual for an individual to roam the halls of the hotel without being stopped. While police believe Manders’ actions were deliberate and planned, they also believe he has mental health issues.

Manders is being held on a $500,000 bond in the Kent County Jail. He waived his March 18 probable cause hearing; his case has been forwarded to felony court. News reports indicate that if convicted, Manders will face up to 20 years in prison.

Sexual assault is a very serious charge; those convicted may face any number of years up to life in prison, depending on the specific offense they are accused of. Second-degree criminal sexual conduct does not involve penetration, so the criminal penalties will be less harsh than those for an individual convicted of first-degree CSC, a crime for which the maximum punishment is life behind bars.

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