Original Case Details

A Michigan couple from the Huron County city of Sebewaing has pled guilty to federal charges related to allegations of possessing and distributing child pornography. 28-year-old Tyler Zimmerman appeared in the United States District Court in Bay City and pled guilty to a single count of distribution and receipt of child pornography. In the plea agreement, Zimmerman admits that in a specific period in the fall of 2018, he shared a video, three photographs and a gif containing child pornography with others on Tumblr in order to receive similar types of material. Upon investigation of Zimmerman’s cell phone, investigators found over 150 videos and images of underage children in sexually explicit circumstances. The plea agreement further states that at least 13 of the images that Zimmerman was in possession of were identified as those of missing children. He admitted to looking at child porn because “it made him feel like he was in school again.” Zimmerman’s girlfriend, 24-year-old Dana Taggart, was implicated when Zimmerman’s Facebook account was searched, and it was discovered that Zimmerman had received five child porn videos from Taggart in April of 2019. Taggart has separately pled guilty in the same United States District Court to one count of transportation of obscene matters in her own federal criminal case. Being charged with any criminal offense is a serious matter, and you should seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are facing criminal charges. Michigan-High-Court-Considers-the-Term-“Possession-of-Child-Pornography”-Pic-225x300

Criminal Charges and Potential Penalties

Original Case Details

Michigan State University’s former President Lou Anna Simon was originally charged with four counts of lying to police. She was accused of lying to investigators about her knowledge about complaints involving former MSU sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar, who has since been convicted in multiple cases of sexually abusing hundreds of women. Eaton County District Court Judge Julie Reincke initially bound over Simon on the four charges, after finding that the prosecutor met their probable cause standard to continue the case to Circuit Court. The case was bound over to Eaton County Circuit Court Judge John Maurer, who upon review of the case, found that District Court Judge Reincke abused her discretion and ignored a lack of evidence in the case. Because of this finding, the case against Simon was then dismissed by Judge Maurer. The State of Michigan has appealed Maurer’s decision to dismiss to the Michigan Court of Appeals. iStock_000001983354_Large-2-300x200

State of Michigan Appeals to Reinstate Charges

Original Case Details

A 17-year-old from Detroit is facing multiple criminal charges as an adult stemming from four different incidents that allege that he sexually assaulted multiple women and used a firearm to commit multiple crimes. Jaden Deangelo Jones is firstly accused of sexually assaulting a woman 41 years of age on Grand River in Detroit. He is also accused of firing a single shot at a 36-year-old woman who rejected his sexual advances about an hour later on Pierson near Grand River in Detroit. Investigators also believe that Jones grabbed a woman 67 years of age by her buttocks, robbed her at gunpoint, and followed her home before he fled after seeing the woman’s husband. Lastly, he is alleged to have robbed a woman 43 years of age at gunpoint and also sexually assaulted her on Lahser in Detroit. Jones is currently being held on all four cases separately. He is currently being held on cash bonds that total over $2 million. iStock_000011602905_Large-2-300x200

Criminal Charges and Potential Penalties

Original Case Details

Former Grand Traverse County Jail Administrator is facing serious accusations involving the sexual assault and explicit relationships with current and former female inmates. Allegations involving Ritter having inappropriate relationships with female inmates surfaced last year during an internal investigation that uncovered sexually charged text messages and explicit photographs of former and current inmates on his government-issued cell phone and laptop. He is accused of taking a former inmate to a Lansing hotel and then expensing it to the County, as well as signing onto a corrections department computer to a single mother dating website and further saving a profile as “Big Tex.” He is also accused of stealing drug test kits neglecting his duty to make sound financial decisions with county money by costing Grand Traverse County nearly $10,000 in keeping a specific female prisoner past her sentence while sending other inmates to other jails at the County’s expense. His bond was set at $50,000 at his arraignment. iStock_000022895015_Full-2-300x200

Criminal Charges and Potential Penalties

Original Case Details

A 21-year-old man from Genoa Township was convicted of multiple counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the first degree, second degree, and assault with the intent to commit sexual penetration back in March 11 of this year. The alleged victim testified that the man raped her multiple times at a golf course after they went riding together on a golf cart looking for a deer back in 2018. Prosecutors previously offered to dismiss three of the criminal sexual conduct charges, as part of a plea agreement, a deal which the man declined to take. He now faces up to life in prison. iStock_000006220072_Double-2-300x200

Allegations Made Against Assistant Prosecutor

Original Case Details

A Marquette man was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree for his alleged abuse of his 12-year-old then stepdaughter. The abuse allegedly began about a year after the minor moved from Indiana to Michigan to live with her mother and stepfather (the defendant). The abuse became more frequent and continued until the girl was approximately 15 years old. The defendant subsequently divorced from the girl’s mother and moved on. The girl and her mother moved back to Indiana where the girl told her biological father about the abuse and informed local police, but no investigation resulted. She later confronted the defendant in a Facebook message regarding his sexual abuse. The defendant’s girlfriend saw the message and responded to the young girl asking about the alleged abuse. The girlfriend then contacted the stepdaughter of the defendant’s half-sister about the alleged abuse and learned that the defendant had also had sex with that girl when she was about 14 or 15 years old. The defendant was charged with abusing both girls and the trial court subsequently severed the cases so each case could be tried separately. The trial court, however, allowed “other acts” evidence to come in under Michigan Rules of Evidence (MRE) Rule 403, which resulted in testimony coming in from the other alleged victim at his trial, resulting in a conviction. It is important to note that these offenses were tried some 20 years after the alleged crimes. iStock_000011602905_Large-2-300x200

The Appeal

Original Details

Back in 2011, the Obama administration made a directive demanding universities to improve their policies regarding sexual assault claims on campus. In an effort to empower and encourage victims to come forward in the event of a sexual assault, many changes were required of university policy and procedure in how to handle sexual assault complaints. One major change was to empower a single investigator who is a university employee or outside expert to do all of the interviews regarding everyone involved in a sexual assault complaint. This investigator would interview the accused, the accuser, and any other witnesses. This investigator then compiles the results of these interviews into reports and makes recommendations. This approach led to many complaints saying that the accused is not being afforded due process or a right to cross examine their accuser. Many lawsuits against universities were then filed by both survivors of sexual assault as well as men who were falsely accused. The common theme in these lawsuits is that the universities were not handling these cases properly and were not qualified to lead these types of investigations. An-Attorneys-Guide-to-a-Career-in-Law-Pic-300x200

The Changes Implemented

Original Case Details

A Lansing, MI man was convicted back in November 2018 of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl. He was convicted of first degree criminal sexual conduct, second degree criminal sexual conduct, and assault with intent to commit sexual penetration. He was sentenced to a minimum of 72 years in prison by Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who also presided over his jury trial. Prior to the trial, it was agreed that a support person could sit with the child while she testified about what the man allegedly did to her. All non-essential people were not allowed to be in the courtroom while she testified, and her testimony would be broadcast to a closed-circuit TV in another room to satisfy the defendant’s right to a public trial. Judge Aquilina also decided that due to the nature of the case and the girl having previously testified that she was suicidal, only the girl’s voice would be broadcast into the closed-circuit TV next door and not her face, so the judge blocked the cameras. Both the prosecutor and defense attorney objected to this decision, to which the judge overruled them and stated to appeal her if they were not satisfied. Essentially, the judge created an appeal issue for the defense which led to a direct appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals. Grabel04a-2-300x146

Court Of Appeals Decision

A federal court has made a ruling which will temporarily suspend a prior order that would have invalidated Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA). The pandemic has made it virtually impossible for lawmaker to convene to actually be able to make changes and rewrite the invalidated laws surrounding SORA. The pandemic has also brought a lot of confusion surrounding any type of real enforcement as the police are also dealing with their own issues related to COVID-19. This judge’s ruling makes clear that the registry cannot be enforced during this pandemic. iStock_000000341623_Large-2-300x200

Original Problems With SORA

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland issued a decision that invalidates parts of the Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA). His ruling has stated that parts of SORA are actually unconstitutional and must be rewritten. This dealt, in part, with requirements that people on the registry were not allowed to work or live less than 1,000 feet from where children gather and play. This among other rules were added in 2006 and 2011 and subsequently applied retroactively to people already on the registry. The judge also ruled that several provisions of SORA are void due to vagueness, strict liability issues, and under the First Amendment. This ruling affects some 44,000 people that are currently on the registry. This is a fight that has been raging on since the same Judge making a similar ruling back in 2015. The state legislature has been pushed to rewrite SORA legislation so it can fall back under constitutional rules, but they still have not done so. With the current pandemic, it does not look like these changes will be taking place anytime soon.

A plastic surgeon out of Toledo, OH with an office in Taylor, MI has been indicted with illegally dispensing controlled substances, aggravated sexual abuse, and sex trafficking. He is accused of drugging multiple women, raping them and recording the acts on camera. He was arrested by the FBI and has been booked at the Lucas County Corrections Center. The doctor is licensed in both Michigan and Ohio and has three offices between both states. His case now goes before a federal grand jury as he has waived his preliminary hearing. He will remain in custody pending his appearance before the federal grand jury. He did not challenge his detention on this court date. stethoscope-1-1080174-m

Original Case Details

The original accusation against this doctor came from a woman who shared that she worked as a high-end escort and engaged in sexual activity for money with the doctor. This event allegedly took place at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Los Angeles back in September of 2016. She alleged that she first performed consensual oral sex on the doctor before dinner but would not allow it to be recorded. After the dinner, she believed she was drugged, raped and recorded without her consent. The woman left the hotel room in the morning and sought the help of a client who was an anesthesiologist who found that the woman tested positive for benzodiazepine in her urine. This drug is a type of tranquilizer. Other women have since made similar accusations against the doctor. The FBI obtained a search warrant and found five thumb drives that allegedly contained 5 different videos of the doctor engaging in sex acts with four different women, who were all unconscious. The FBI also seized large amounts of controlled substances from the doctor which included valium, fentanyl and morphine. The doctor had also received a shipment of ketamine two weeks prior to the first alleged incident. The Assistant United States Attorney handling this case stated in court that they believe they have found over 20 different victims recorded on different devices.

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