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.
According to a news report at, 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 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.

Continue reading →

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 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.

Continue reading →

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, 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.

Continue reading →

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 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.

Continue reading →

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 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.

Continue reading →

Recently, two men were arrested and charged with the sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman who claimed that she was raped by four men just hours before the apartment building where she lived caught fire and was destroyed. Charles Simms, Detroit Fire Chief of Arson, said on Thursday March 6th that the massive fire had been ruled an arson. fire-fighting-1135041-m

The two men, 19-year-old Dantraz Oliver-McClung, and 21-year-old Carlos Love, have each been charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and five counts of assault with intent to commit penetration. The sexual assault allegedly took place on March 5, according to a news article at The Detroit Free Press.

The apartment complex, Jason Manor, was engulfed in flames approximately three hours after the sexual assault occurred. News reports indicated tenants were jumping from windows in order to escape the fiery blaze. The apartment complex, where more than 30 apartments were occupied by residents, was completely destroyed. Authorities had not confirmed at the time of news reports, but believe the sexual assaults and fire may be connected.

Oliver-McClung and Love were arraigned in Detroit’s 36th District Court on March 8 and were scheduled back in court on Tuesday, March 11.

No doubt that if charged with arson in the fire that destroyed the 42-unit apartment complex and convicted, the two men will face serious criminal penalties which could include up to 20 years in prison. However, a conviction for first-degree criminal sexual conduct is even more serious, as those found guilty face potential life behind bars. First-degree CSC is the most serious sexual offense a person may be charged with. Not only are the criminal penalties life altering, taking away your freedom, being labeled a sex offender presents an entirely different set of problems.

Continue reading →

On Monday March 10, 25-year-old Joshua A. Kara of Pinconning was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest to the sexual assault of his girlfriend’s teenage daughter, according to news reports at Upon his release from jail, Kara was ordered to serve five years of probation. remembering-719387-m

Kara was charged with one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with an incapacitated victim and one count of fourth-degree CSC with a victim between the ages of 13 and 16. He pleaded no contest to the charges in January of this year.

In exchange for his no contest plea, prosecutors agreed to drop one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of third-degree CSC, which both involve penetration and are more serious offenses than those Kara pleaded to.

Kara pleaded no contest to the charges due to the fact that he was intoxicated at the time of the incident, and has no memory of it according to his defense attorney, Matthew Reyes. A mistrial was declared last August when a jury found Kara not guilty of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration; however, the jury could not agree on the three remaining charges.

The incident allegedly took place in September of 2012 when a Pinconning woman said she was awakened by her daughter’s 13-year-old friend pounding on her door. The girl alleged that her mother’s boyfriend (Kara) had sexually assaulted her, and that she woke up to him taking off her clothes and fondling her. The girl claimed that she left the room and ran to the friend’s home.

Upon speaking to the alleged victim’s mother, deputies learned that she and Kara had come home around midnight after going out to a bar. She had no idea anything was going on until another daughter woke her up and informed her that police were at the door.

When deputies arrived at the girl’s home, Kara was sleeping. He said that he was at a loss for words, and that after arriving home from the bar, he had simply given his girlfriend’s daughter a hug goodnight. At trial, Kara maintained that he was innocent of the allegations against him.

Continue reading →

Derik Eugene Rothrock, a 34-year-old registered sex offender from Kalamazoo, is expected to spend at least 15 years in federal prison for allegedly receiving child pornography, according to news reports at Rothrock was expected to be in Grand Rapids federal court on Friday March 7 where he would plead guilty to a single count superseding indictment charging him with receipt of child pornography.3d-illustration-of-computer-technologies--concept-notebook-1398484-m

News reports claim Rothrock persuaded three young girls to send naked photos of themselves to him via text message in 2013. Rothrock was charged with one count each of committing a felony involving a minor while required to register as a sex offender, possession of child pornography, and four counts of sexual exploitation of a child. These charges will be dismissed when Rothrock is sentenced under the terms of a plea agreement the defendant signed on February 26.

Rothrock is alleged to have had the girls, who were 12, 14, and 15, send him nude photos using their cell phones. This activity occurred in July of last year in St. Joseph and Kalamazoo counties. The defendant also took a sexually explicit photo of the 14-year-old girl using his own cell phone, according to the indictment.

Due to his prior conviction for second-degree CSC in Branch County, Rothrock potentially faces enhanced penalties and may be sentenced to a maximum of 40 years in prison according to the plea agreement. He will spend at least 15 years in prison.

Criminal penalties for sex-related offenses are extremely harsh in Michigan. As is evidenced above, those who are registered sex offenders face penalties which are even more harsh. Regardless of whether an individual has been convicted of a sex crime in the past, charges of first-degree criminal conduct, the most serious of all, will leave a defendant potentially facing spending the rest of his or her life behind bars.

Continue reading →

Matthew J. Martinez, a 21-year-old Saginaw Township man, is headed to Circuit Court after he allegedly sexually assaulted a girl who is now 17 years old, according to news reports at Martinez waived his right to a preliminary hearing on February 28 after appearing before Saginaw County District Judge Terry L. Clark. depression-620325-m

News reports do not indicate the age of the alleged victim when the sexual assault took place, only that Martinez sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions in Saginaw Township. He has been charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, the most serious sexual offense in Michigan which carries a maximum criminal penalty of life in prison for those convicted.

Martinez may choose to plead guilty, no contest, or accept a plea agreement from prosecutors if offered at Circuit Court; he may also choose to proceed to trial if he maintains that he is innocent. He remains in jail on a $225,000 bond.

Michigan sex crime attorneys know that in cases like this where the defendant and alleged victim are relatively close in age, it is often a case where the victim willingly engages in sexual intercourse. Even so, it is against the law regardless of whether the victim is a willing participant. Sex offenses that involve penetration will leave the alleged offender facing extremely serious consequences if convicted. Not only may the individual face a lifetime behind bars, he or she will also be required to register as a sex offender and face other criminal penalties as well.

Continue reading →