On Wednesday, October 8, 39-year-old Philip Charbonneau was found not guilty by an Arenac County jury of raping his estranged wife, according to a news report at Mlive.com. wedding-rings-1060980-m

The jury deliberated for only one hour before coming back with the not guilty verdict. Charbonneau was accused of raping his wife in February of this year, when he visited her home. According to the news article, the two had been working on getting back together after a period of separation and seeing other people. Charbonneau was charged with one count of larceny in a building for allegedly stealing his wife’s wedding ring, and two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

At trial, the prosecution argued that while at his estranged wife’s home, Charbonneau became angry with her and forced her into having sex before stealing her wedding ring and leaving with it. Charbonneau’s defense attorney agreed that his client did have sex with his wife, however it was consensual. Charbonneau and his wife testified at trial, although it was not revealed what either said during testimony.

Had Charbonneau been convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, he would have faced up to life in prison. First-degree CSC is the most serious sex charge of all, and involves penetration.

Most Michigan sex crime attorneys would not find the outcome of this case at all surprising. When two individuals are involved in a tumultuous relationship, accusations may be made out of anger or revenge. While a wife can certainly be raped by her husband or forced into having sexual relations without giving consent, it is generally hard to prove, especially considering the two were working on putting their relationship back together.

All sex crime allegations should be taken very seriously, as a conviction will result in serious and even life-changing consequences. Had the defendant in this case been found guilty, he could be spending the rest of his life or a substantial number of years behind bars. Sex crimes are prosecuted vigorously in the state of Michigan, whether an individual is accused of possessing or distributing child pornography, child molestation, or any type of sexual abuse or assault. It is vital to consult with a skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crime lawyer in an effort to protect your freedom, reputation, and future.

On Wednesday, October 8, a single charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against Thomas Burchfield of Albion was dismissed, according to a news article at Mlive.com. Burchfield claims to be a minister at the Greater Bible Way Temple in Jackson, although detectives said that the church’s website does not list him as such. up-on-the-pulpit-760078-m

Charges were dismissed because the 7-year-old alleged victim refused to testify at a preliminary exam last week while the defendant and his family were in the courtroom. Burchfield was charged with first-degree CSC in September; prosecutor’s intend to re-issue charges against the defendant after requesting the judge place Burchfield behind a screen and close the courtroom to observers during the girl’s testimony.

Burchfield was accused of sexually assaulting the victim as he babysat her at an apartment complex in late June of this year. A police report indicates that the girl was combing Burchfield’s hair as he sat in front of the television. Burchfield stated in an interview with police that he repositioned the girl while she was sitting in his lap so that she was on his right knee, but that he did not touch her purposely in an inappropriate manner.

The girl’s mother took her to a hospital after she claimed Burchfield touched her, and she allegedly noticed some bleeding.

Michigan sex crime attorneys understand how difficult it is to prove guilty or innocence in cases involving young children. As in this case, the little girl refuses to tell her story in front of the defendant and his family. If there is no hard physical evidence, it is very difficult to secure a conviction.

Who is telling the truth, the 7-year-old girl, or Burchfield? While we cannot know at this point, if re-tried and convicted he will face up to life in prison, as first-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious sex offense of all. Anyone who is accused of a sex crime, regardless of whether it involves a child, rape, or child pornography, must consult with a capable and aggressive Michigan sex crime lawyer who will work to develop a solid defense and protect your freedom and reputation.

Last week, 30-year-old Timothy Solloway of Dowagiac was found guilty of sexually molesting a child less than 10 years old, according to a news article at Mlive.com. Solloway had prior sex offenses and was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. sad-little-girl-821335-m

According to Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz, Solloway was also convicted on two counts of sex offender registry violations. Because of the victim’s age, the minimum mandatory sentence for his first-degree CSC conviction is 25 years. The maximum punishment for this offense is life in prison.

Solloway has been required to register as a sex offender since he was convicted of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in 2001. The victim was allegedly assaulted by Solloway at his residence in July of last year. Fitz’s statement also indicated that the child’s mother took the child to a local hospital, where it was found by a nurse that injuries, including abrasions and tears, were indicative of sexual assault. Fitz said that the child indicated that the defendant threatened harm if the child told anyone about the incident.

Solloway is scheduled to be sentenced in front of Cass County Circuit Court Judge Michael Dodge on October 31.

Child molestation is one of the most serious sex crimes an individual can be accused of committing. Like rape or other offenses involving penetration, it is charged as first-degree criminal sexual conduct, the most serious of all sex offense charges. While Solloway will serve a minimum of 25 years if convicted, he could face up to life in prison.

Michigan sex crime defense attorneys use a variety of tactics in defending those accused of sex crimes. In some situations, it may be beneficial to work out a plea agreement with prosecutors, allowing the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser crime. In doing so, the criminal penalties are typically less severe or damaging.

If you have been arrested or charged with any sex-related crime, it is vital to take action immediately in order to protect your legal rights and freedom. Contact a highly regarded Michigan criminal defense lawyer at once, as your future, reputation, and freedom are at risk.

Recently, 48-year-old Emil M. Sporcic Jr. of Oakland was charged with allegedly sexually assaulting two young boys who are now teenagers in various locations in Saginaw County. sad-young-boy-on-the-bank-970752-m

According to a news article at Mlive.com, the sexual assaults took place beginning in January of 2010 and continuing to August of this year. Sporcic has been charged with five counts each of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree criminal sexual conduct by force or coercion.

A not guilty plea was entered by Saginaw County District Judge A.T. Frank at Sporcic’s arraignment on September 18. He was ordered held without bond, and remains in jail. Last week Sporcic waived his right to a preliminary hearing before District Judge M.T. Thompson. A new hearing date has not yet been scheduled.

While first-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious charge for a sexual offense and involves penetration, third-degree CSC also involves penetration. A conviction for first-degree CSC may result in a life prison term, while third-degree criminal sexual conduct carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

The allegations against the defendant in this case are extremely serious; if found guilty, Sporcic may be sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars. Depending on the facts of the case and the evidence, his defense lawyer may advise him that working out a plea agreement with prosecutors may result in a more favorable outcome. However, if Sporcic is innocent of the charges leveled against him, it may be better to go to trial and prove his innocence in order to avoid criminal penalties and the requirement to register as a sex offender.

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On Thursday, September 25, 42-year-old Thomas P. Skulley was arraigned on charges of sexually assaulting a teenage girl who is his relative in Saginaw County in 2007. Skulley pleaded not guilty to a single charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against a relative. He posted a 10 percent of $35,000 bond ordered by Saginaw County District Judge M.T. Thompson. promise-1207125-m

The arrest warrant alleges that Skulley sexually assaulted a female relative in January of 2007, and that the girl was between the ages of 13 and 16 at the time of the assault. First-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious of all sex crimes, and punished by a maximum term of life in prison.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled before District Judge Kyle Higgs Tarrant for October 6.

Under Michigan Penal Code 750-520b, first-degree CSC involves sexual penetration, along with other specific conditions. In this case, the defendant allegedly committed sexual penetration with a victim who is between 13 and 16 and a relative (blood or affinity to 4th degree). Depending on the facts of the case, the defendant’s attorney may advise Skulley to go forward to trial, or try to work a plea deal with prosecutors. In many cases, a defendant may plead no contest or guilty to lesser charges, which typically results in less severe criminal penalties.

In cases involving minors who are relatives, it is often difficult to determine if the allegations are true. Children or teens may be coerced or persuaded by other adults to make up stories that are not true, sometimes out of spite or revenge. If the evidence presented at trial is weak or non-existent, it can be difficult to find a defendant guilty based on testimony alone.

Regardless of the situation, anyone who is accused of sexual assault must consult with an experienced and aggressive Michigan sex crime attorney immediately. Your defense lawyer will investigate and examine your case to determine the best way to proceed, so that positive results may be reached. Without a qualified attorney on your side, charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct could leave you facing a lifetime behind bars.

On September 17, it was reported by MyFoxDetroit.com that a former junior varsity football coach at Warren Lincoln High School was under investigation for the sexual assault of a 17-year-old female student. The mother of the girl told reporters that her daughter believed the relationship was “true love.” coach-and-players-34668-m

The former coach, who was also a teacher’s aide, allegedly had sexual relations with the girl on the school campus. The girl’s mother said that she received a call from the school, and that they wanted her daughter to make a statement, to which she replied that her daughter could not do anything without her or an attorney present.

The former coach, who has not been named, had not been officially charged with any crime at the time of news reports. He was in California at the time, however investigators said they were continuing the investigation. Louis Galasso of the Warren Police Dept. said that police had requested a warrant for third-degree criminal sexual conduct for two counts. The girl’s mother said that inappropriate text messages had been sent by the coach, along with a video of himself masturbating. She feels that the school district should protect the students better, and that they are to blame.

The coach was immediately placed on unpaid administrative leave in June, when the school district was informed of the allegations of sexual misconduct.

As Michigan sex crime attorneys are fully aware, many young teenage girls find themselves infatuated with teachers, coaches, or others in positions of authority at school. The girl’s mother in this situation admitted that her daughter thought it was “true love.” However, this does not excuse the offender from facing criminal charges. If charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and found guilty, the former coach may face up to 15 years in prison.

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53-year-old Larry D. Currington of Saginaw was recently jailed without bond after being charged in three recent sexual assaults, one involving a woman in Saginaw’s Old Town district, according to news reports at Mlive.com. Currington had been in prison for nearly 30 years after he was convicted of raping a woman in downtown Saginaw in November of 1983. Following his release from prison in July of 2012, Currington had been on parole and was just released this past July. security-fence-4-1398073-m

The most recent incidents took place on August 19, September 6, and September 14, according to reports. Among other charges in the three incidents including robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, and assault with a dangerous weapon, Currington is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a weapon, three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a weapon, and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

In all three incidents, Currington allegedly attacked women who were alone near their vehicles in the area of Hamilton Street and Cass. At the time of news reports, how police linked Currington to the attacks was not revealed. Saginaw County District Judge A.T. Frank entered a plea of not guilty on the defendant’s behalf.

Considering his criminal history and the fact that Currington was imprisoned for almost 30 years for rape, it is very likely he will spend the rest of his life behind bars if found guilty of the recent sexual assaults. In addition, carjacking and kidnapping are extremely serious crimes which may result in a life sentence.

Regardless of whether an individual has been convicted of a sex crime in the past or is accused for the first time, it is vital to consult with an experienced and aggressive Michigan sex crime defense attorney. The criminal penalties for rape, child pornography or molestation, and other offenses are extremely severe; your career, reputation, and future will be ruined if convicted. In many situations, innocent people are accused of crimes they did not commit.

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Last week, 29-year-old Anthony Scott Currier of Holland was arrested and charged with indecent exposure by a sexually delinquent person after two incidents in the area involving exposure of his private parts, according to a news article at Mlive.com. Police believe Currier may have exposed himself in other incidents in the area recently; he is a registered sex offender, on the registry for life following a 2005 conviction for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in Ottawa County. school-bus-2-232057-m

The most recent incidents took place between September 6th and 9th, according to reports. On September 6, Currier allegedly exposed himself near Washington Avenue and 19th Street. On the 9th, he allegedly exposed himself near Black River Public School according to the story told to police by an 11-year-old girl, although he has not been charged in the incident. Captain Jack Dykstra of Holland Police indicated that more charges may be forthcoming against Currier, who police believe is a suspect in other cases involving indecent exposure.

Holland was staying at Holland Rescue Mission most recently, according to police. He is currently held on a $200,000 bond as the investigation continues.

Indecent exposure may not seem like a serious crime when compared to other sex crimes such as child molestation or rape, however it is a serious situation – particularly when the accused is a registered sex offender, or known to be sexually delinquent. While indecent exposure is a misdemeanor offense with criminal penalties that include up to one year in jail for those convicted, the consequences could be far more serious for a registered sex offender. In fact, those who are considered sexually delinquent and who are found guilty of indecent exposure may face up to life in prison.

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On September 9th, 57-year-old Calvin Ray Kelly was charged in the rape of a woman in Kalamazoo at knifepoint, according to news reports at Mlive.com. Kelly was officially charged with one count each of attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping, and three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Kelly is reportedly a truck driver out of Tennessee. He is also alleged to have committed rape in Missouri, Tennessee, and Virginia. knife-1-1142076-m

Cold case sexual assault investigator Karen Fairley testified that the victim was raped three times in the span of one hour on April 9 of 2008. The rapes allegedly occurred inside a vehicle located south of Parkview Avenue on US-131. Kelly’s DNA was detected following a sexual assault kit performed on the woman after being entered into the national DNA database.

Fairley’s testimony also indicated that not only had Kelly been linked to other rapes in the three states mentioned above, but that he had been involved in a least nine other rapes going as far back as 1985. Prior to Kelly’s arrest this month, investigators had spent about two years digging into the case. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette stated that, “Those who think a rape case will sit on a shelf, not on our watch.”

The charges pursued against the defendant are as a fourth-time habitual offender, which means he will face at least 25 year in prison if found guilty of first-degree CSC.

First-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious of sex-related criminal charges, and may result in a life prison term.

Michigan sex crime attorneys know that with ever-evolving technology such as DNA testing, defending those accused of rape is no easy task. However, it is vital that anyone accused of sexual assault or any sex crime consult with an experienced lawyer immediately, as DNA evidence alone is often not enough to secure a conviction. For example, if an alleged victim actually consented to sexual intercourse and later claimed rape, the DNA evidence will be there, even though the accused did not actually rape the victim.

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On Friday, September 5, retired Flint Police Sgt. Lawrence Woods was arraigned on 16 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Since that time, two more individuals have come forward with similar allegations, according to a news article at Mlive.com. As of yesterday, Flint Police were interviewing the alleged victims, according to Sgt. Karl Petrich. police-on-the-scene-1172422-m

The 16 counts Woods was arraigned on last week pertain to two alleged victims who were minors at the time they were assaulted during a time period beginning in 1996 and ending in 1999. Woods’ attorney, Frank Manley, said that in cases that are old such as this one and also high profile, there are questions to be answered. Considering the allegations are concerning something that allegedly happened beginning 18 years ago, it becomes suspect.

Petrich said that investigators found substantial evidence in a raid of the homes Woods had stayed at or lived in, including hundreds of photographs depicting child pornography which were not downloaded from the Internet. Petrich maintains that the photographs of victims were taken at a local hotel room and Woods’ apartment. He also said that it was believed Woods sexually assaulted the victims while he was on duty, using his position of authority over the children.

To date, four alleged victims have come forward, but Petrich believes there may be many more. First-degree criminal sexual conduct involving children results in a sentence of 25 years to life in prison for those convicted.

As all Michigan sex crime attorneys are aware, old cases such as this one truly are suspect. Why do victims wait for nearly 20 years to come forward? After this many years, gathering concrete evidence is nearly impossible. In some situations, people may fabricate stories in an effort to get publicity, or even money from the alleged offender. We will see how this plays out in the coming weeks and months.

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