In early July, former Kent County Prosecutor Mark Richard Vandermolen was accused of groping and sexually assaulting a woman after she met him at a downtown dancing event and went back to his home with him. Vandermolen is 61, the alleged victim 41. Personal Safety Guides Protect Yourself Against Sex Crimes Pic

According to police, the woman said that she was not interested in a sexual relationship, however Vandermolen allegedly groped her, kissed her breasts, and exposed her private areas as she fought to push him off. Police said that Vandermolen granted her request, and that they recorded a phone call in which the former county prosecutor apologized for his behavior, explaining to the victim that he had not been with a woman in a long time.

Vandermolen had initially decided he would represent himself in court, but has since changed his mind. He has since hired a criminal defense lawyer to represent him against charges of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Vandermolen served more than 10 years in the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office, and is facing up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the charges against him.

News reports claim that the woman was from Iran, and had only recently come to the West Michigan area. Vandermolen allegedly began kissing her neck which progressed to more serious conduct as the two were watching television at his home.

The former Kent County prosecutor pleaded not guilty. The next hearing is scheduled for August 26.

Michigan sex crime attorneys know the serious consequences individuals face when accused of sexual assault, rape, and other sex crimes. While Vandermolen pleaded not guilty, will the recorded phone conversation between himself and the victim in which he was apologizing be detrimental to his case? It will be interesting to see how this case is resolved.

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On Friday, July 25, 80-year-o9ld Jose G. Espitia waived his right to a preliminary hearing after appearing before Saginaw County District Judge M.T. Thompson on sexual assault charges, according to a news article at Espitia is accused of sexually assaulting a young female relative, and is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against a relative, and two counts of first-degree CSC against someone younger than 13. old-man-2-1179695-m

Espitia was arrested by Buena Vista police on July 11 for allegedly sexually assaulting the young girl from 2008 until just last month. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and is being held on a $200,000 bond.

If convicted, Espitia could face up to life in prison. The mandatory minimum prison sentence is 25 years when an individual is convicted of first-degree CSC involving someone younger than 13 years of age. News reports state that Espitia can go forward with a trial, accept a plea agreement from prosecutors, or plead guilty or no contest to the charges now that he is in Circuit Court.

Michigan sex crime attorneys know there are several legal options for individuals who are accused of sexual assault and other similar crimes. How a defendant proceeds is often based on whether he/she is guilty or innocent, the strength of the evidence, and other factors. Typically, if a defendant is guilty and accepts a plea agreement, charges are reduced which results in less damaging criminal penalties.

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Last week, 23-year-old Edward Charles Eubanks was arraigned on charges in connection with two separate incidents in which he allegedly raped 14-year-old girls in his car. According to a news article at, Eubanks, a Muskegon resident, was charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving sexual penetration through force or coercion, causing physical injury, and one count of third-degree CSC with a victim between 13 and 16 years old. new-york-times-square-1443347-m

Eubanks has been convicted on drug charges in the past, and was charged as a fourth-time habitual offender in the rape cases. According to Timothy Maat, Chief Assistant Muskegon County Prosecutor, both of the 14-year-old girls knew Eubanks, who raped each girl after offering her a ride in his car. One of the rapes is alleged to have occurred on June 1, and the other on July 21. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 5; Eubanks remains in Muskegon County Jail.

First-degree criminal sexual conduct involves penetration, and is the most serious sex offense an individual may be accused of. If convicted, the defendant may face up to life in prison. Registration as a sex offender is mandatory for those found guilty of first-degree CSC.

Third-degree criminal sexual conduct also involves penetration, and is a charge given when other conditions are met, such as force or coercion, the defendant knows that the victim is incapacitated either physically or mentally, and other conditions. The criminal penalties for a conviction of third-degree CSC include up to 15 years in prison and sex offender registration, among other penalties.

Michigan sex crime defense attorneys are certainly aware that rape, child molestation, and other similar crimes do happen all too often, however there are also many occasions on which an individual who is innocent is accused of rape or sexual assault. This can result in an innocent person spending a substantial number of years or even life behind bars. Even worse in some cases is the fact that the individual will be labeled as a sex offender, and shunned by society.

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On Tuesday, July 22, 49-year-old Joseph A. Howell of Saginaw was arraigned on charges of sexually assaulting a young girl beginning in January of 2008, and continuing through December of 2011. According to a news article at, Howell was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim younger than 13, and two counts of second-degree CSC with a victim younger than 13. marion-county-sheriff-282849-m

Court records revealed that the alleged victim notified staff at the Nathan Weidner Children’s Advocacy Center about the molestations by Howell. The young girl told staff that Howell had digitally penetrated her on numerous occasions at a Bay City residence.

Howell is attempting to get disability payments due to health concerns, and is not employed. He was arraigned via closed-circuit television in front of Bay County Chief District Judge Timothy J. Kelly from his jail cell. Howell’s preliminary exam is scheduled for August 5. His bond was set at $250,000 cash-surety.

Second-degree CSC is a 15 year offense, while first-degree criminal sexual conduct can result in a life prison term for those convicted. If found guilty, Howell could spend the remainder of his life behind bars.

Michigan sex crime attorneys know there are legal options for those accused of sexual assault, child molestation, and other related crimes. Depending on the situation and whether the alleged offender is guilty or innocent, an experienced lawyer may advise the client that working a plea agreement with prosecutors may be advantageous. In a situation where the evidence against the defendant is substantial or overwhelming, it may be best to plead guilty to a lesser charge, which typically results in a reduced sentence.

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Recently, a father and son from Birch Run were charged with the sexual assault of a young female relative. According to news reports at, 66-year-old Juan Cabello Sr. and 41-year-old Juan Cabello Jr. were charged with multiple sex-related counts after allegedly assaulting a relative over a span of five years. The alleged sexual assault began when the girl was younger than 13. pensative-1109275-m

The two Cabellos were arrested by Michigan State Police on July 17 after prosecutors charged the men with sexually assaulting the young girl beginning in 2008, and continuing through late last year at their Birch Run Township home. Cabello Sr. was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against someone under the age of 13, and one count of second-degree CSC against a relative age 13 through 16. Cabello Jr. faces two counts each of first- and second-degree CSC against a relative.

The two men pleaded not guilty to the charges against them, and were held on $50,000 bonds ordered by Saginaw County District Judge Kyle Higgs at their July 18 arraignment. The Cabellos are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on July 30.

First-degree criminal sexual conduct is an extremely serious charge, and involves penetration. If convicted, the maximum penalty is life in prison. Individuals who are found guilty of most sex crimes are also required to register for a determined amount of time to life as a sex offender, depending on whether the crime is considered a Tier I, Tier II, or Tier III offense. Being a registered sex offender is often the worst punishment of all for an individual who serves little time behind bars, as it makes finding employment or housing difficult. Society also tends to shun those who are known sex offenders.

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David Wing, a former southwestern Michigan teacher and coach, was arrested on Saturday on sexual assault charges. Wing, who is 59 years old, is accused of the sexual assault of a 16-year-old child and producing child sexually abusive material, according to a news report at Wood TV. hand-cuffs-12754-m

Wing was escorted from his Three Rivers home by police in handcuffs, and is charged with four felony offenses involving children. News reports indicate that investigators spent hours at the suspect’s home collecting evidence against him.

A neighbor told reporters that residents of the neighborhood wondered why Wing was led from his home, also saying that there were a “bunch” of cops at his home on July 4th as well. The neighbor said that she believed they should be informed if there is something going on that involves kids.

Wing worked at several school districts including Hillsdale, Constantine, Marcellus, and Three Rivers. He was a coach and assistant principal at Marcellus, and according to a parent whose daughters were coached by Wing, “would do anything for anybody.” Some of Wing’s friends told reporters that they did not believe the allegations against Wing could be true, and that he had been accused by a student in Constantine but won the case against him.

A news article at states that the allegations against Wing go back to 2008, and that he has been charged with four felonies. Wing is scheduled back in court for a preliminary exam later this month.

In the state of Michigan, the possession of child pornography or materials that are determined to be child sexually abusive is a serious felony. When someone is charged with the actual production of child sexually abusive materials, the situation becomes even more serious and leaves the accused facing years in prison if convicted. If an individual is found guilty of coercing a child who is younger than 18 years old to participate in the creation of child sexually abusive or pornographic material, he or she may be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison along with fines of up to $100,000.

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In June of last year, 19-year-old Dylan T. Dominowski of Bay City was arraigned on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person younger than 13 and a single count of third-degree CSC. Just days later, eight more counts came from prosecutors, then the 13th charge in November of 2013. Now, Bay County District Judge Mark E. Janer has determined that Dominowski is psychologically competent to stand trial on the charges after having the defendant evaluated by staff at a psychiatric facility in Ypsilanti. bored-708280-m

Dominowski allegedly sexually assaulted two girls who were ages 12 and 14 at the time, according to news articles at The oldest victim revealed to a forensic interviewer that the defendant had forced her into sex in November of 2012 in his Bay City home, while the 12-year-old girl claims that the defendant engaged in sex with her on multiple occasions between December of 2012 and April, also at his home. According to police, Dominowski admitted to the allegations against him.

In all, Dominowski is charged with three counts of child sexually abusive activity, two counts of using a computer to commit a crime, seven counts of first-degree CSC with someone younger than 13, and a single count of third-degree CSC. Should the defendant go to trial, a conviction will leave him facing a minimum of 25 years in prison due to the victims’ ages.

In the state of Michigan, sex crimes are treated very seriously whether an individual is accused of child molestation, rape, pornography, or another offense. First-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious offense a person may be charged with, and involves penetration. The maximum punishment for first-degree CSC is life in prison, the same maximum sentence someone found guilty of murder may face. Regardless of the penalties, being labeled a sex offender even if you only spend a few months in prison will seriously impact your life forever.

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Just over two weeks ago, a Montcalm County man was charged with six felonies in connection with the alleged sexual assault of two females who were 13 and 16 at the time of the assaults, according to news articles at 33-year-old Jeremy Geselman of Crystal is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of second-degree CSC, two counts of third-degree CSC, and one count of fourth-degree CSC. If convicted on the first-degree charges, Geselman could spend the rest of his life behind bars as the maximum punishment is life in prison. girlfriend-on-black-22176-m

According to Montcalm County Sheriff William Barnwell, Geselman was apprehended after the two alleged victims came forward and shared their stories with police. Geselman was arrested while already in jail on other unrelated charges.

Barnwell said that the sexual assaults occurred in 2013, and that one of the alleged victims is a Crystal resident. Because Geselman was already in police custody and the two young women had provided testimony, he felt that the case would be “pretty straightforward.” Barnwell also commended the county prosecutor for speedy turnaround time.

At the time of news reports Geselman remained behind bars on a $100,000 bond. His pre-trial conference was scheduled for July 7. Whether the victims knew Geselman previously and how he came into contact with the young women has not yet been revealed.

Michigan sex crime lawyers know that there are many cases in which innocent individuals are accused of rape, child molesting, and other crimes they did not commit. While people do commit these crimes, those who are falsely accused can have their lives ruined. Depending on the charges and whether the accused is found guilty, penalties can range from a few months in jail to a lifetime behind bars. Even worse for some who spend a few years behind bars is the fact that their reputations are scarred for life, and they may also be required to register as a sex offender for many years or even the rest of their lives.

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Wayne Makela, a 27-year-old Hobart resident who is a teacher at a Lutheran school in Green Bay, WI was recently arrested after allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage boy, according to Fox 11. The victim is a 13-year-old student at the school whose parent discovered the boy was receiving inappropriate text messages from the Makela, who is also a youth leader, counselor, and coach at Pilgrim Lutheran Church School. The suspect was arrested on July 2. gesture-2-1182571-m

According to investigators, Makela way preying on the teenage student to entice the boy to have sexual relations with him. An attorney for the state commented that they do have a confession with Makela admitting to the accusations. Investigators also claim that the teacher and student have engaged in sexual contact on several occasions, one of them being at the school.

News reports state that it is not clear when the sexual assaults of the boy started, and that Makela had known him since third grade. A married father of one child, the defendant is charged with six felony counts including child enticement and sexual assault of a child. He is being held on a $50,000 cash bond.

In Michigan, anyone found guilty of sexually assaulting a child that involves penetration may face penalties which include up to life in prison. Child enticement is another serious charge, and involves attempting to lure a child to participate in activity that is sexual in nature. The punishment for this crime for a first-time offender is up to four years in prison along with fines of up to $4,000.

Sex crimes are some of the most serious not only in Michigan, but across the U.S. Criminal penalties vary from state to state, and Michigan has some of the toughest in the nation. First-degree criminal sexual conduct, the most serious sex crime of all, carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, the same sentence given for those convicted of first-degree murder.

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On June 17, 29-year-old Gregory S. Woods of Saginaw allegedly provided an 18-year-old woman with marijuana before sexually assaulting her at his apartment on the city’s South Side, according to a news article at Woods has been charged with unlawful imprisonment, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, felonious assault, and two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct during the commission of a felony, the felony being the marijuana charge according to Woods’ arrest warrant. Woods was also charged as a second-time felonious sexual offender by prosecutors because of a conviction for a sex crime in 2006. dutch-weed-2-jpg-1206038-m

The teenage girl involved in the sexual assault was at Woods’ apartment getting marijuana when the alleged sexual assault took place. Eventually, the defendant let the girl leave according to authorities, who told them that she told her mother about what had happened. The mother drove to the defendant’s home to confront him about what had happened, and Woods allegedly crashed his vehicle into hers. This incident was the basis for the felonious assault charge.

Woods was held without bond following his June 23 arraignment hearing at which a not guilty plea was entered by Saginaw County district Judge Kyle Higgs Tarrant. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 7.

First-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious sex offense of all, and involves penetration; essentially, it is rape when the victim does not consent. If found guilty, Woods could face up to life in prison. Because Woods was charged as a second-time felonious sexual offender, he will face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison.

How this case proceeds and the hard evidence will determine Woods’ future. In many cases where the evidence is indisputable, Michigan sex crime defense attorneys will discuss the pros and cons of entering a no contest or guilty plea. For instance, when an offender enters a guilty plea to a lesser charge, it not only saves the cost of putting the defendant on trial, but leaves the offender facing less serious criminal penalties as well. Often when a defendant pleads guilty or no contest to a sex crime, the number of years in prison the defendant is sentenced to is greatly reduced.

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