Robert E. Potts, a 73-year-old Midland County man who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman who was disabled beginning at nine years of age, recently pleaded guilty to three counts of third-degree CSC. Prosecutors dropped several charges in exchange for the plea from Potts, including two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, and four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Potts is scheduled to be sentenced on February 14.
In August of 2012, Potts was charged with sexually assaulting the disabled girl, who is now 25 years old, over a period of 16 years. At that time, detectives believed that he had also assaulted additional victims after searching his home and seizing evidence.
The alleged victim is developmentally disabled, and was frequently in the company of Potts in Bridgeport Township. Saginaw County Sheriff's Detective David Kerns stated in August news reports that Potts took pornographic pictures of the alleged victim as well.
According to the plea deal, Potts will be sentenced to no more than four years and three months in prison. If Potts had been convicted on first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges, he could have faced life in prison.
Michigan sex crime attorneys know that Potts could have easily spent the rest of his life in prison. Sex crimes are taken very seriously in the state of Michigan; individuals who are convicted usually face extremely harsh consequences. Years or even life behind bars, a criminal record, and the requirement to register as a sex offender are some examples of the penalties a convicted individual may face. Registered sex offenders face many obstacles throughout their lives, including difficulty in securing employment, housing, and more. The stigma can be difficult to live with.
If you or someone you know is under investigation for or has been charged with rape, sexual assault, child molestation or any sex-related offense, it is urgent that you consult with a skilled Michigan sex crime defense lawyer immediately in order to protect your legal rights and freedom.