Washtenaw County prosecutors dropped criminal charges against a Pittsfield Township sex offender accused of illegally living near a school.
Matthew Freeman, now a 23-year-old man, was arrested and convicted when he was 17 of having consensual sex with his 15 year-old girlfriend. Because his girlfriend was under the age of consent, Freeman was convicted of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct and required to register as a sex offender. Freeman had been in a steady relationship with the girl, but 12 days after he turned 17, the girl’s mother requested Freeman be criminally charged as a way to end the relationship.
Often, finding the true motivation for making the accusation of sexual misconduct is one of the most important components of a successful defense.
As the result of prosecutorial error during the plea hearing, Freeman’s conviction for fourth degree criminal sexual conduct – age of victim, was recorded as fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving force or coercion, subjecting Freeman to the school safety zone residency requirement.
Had he been convicted of the safety zone violation, Freeman could face up to a year in jail.
Freeman’s record was corrected early this March, exempting Freeman from the residency restrictions. As a result, prosecutors dropped the pending charges.
For Freeman and his family it’s a bittersweet victory. Freeman’s name still must remain of the Michigan Sex Offenders Registry until August 17, 2028.
Freeman’s case shows the importance of having a dedicated and aggressive sex crimes attorney represent you if you’re facing criminal sexual conduct or any other sex crimes charges. It’s crucial to keep your name off the registry. Placement of your mane on the registry can affect your everyday life, including the loss of job opportunities, and the loss of freedom to live or visit where you choose.
If you’ve been charged with a Michigan sex crime, please contact Grabel & Associates, Michigan’s premier sex crimes defense firm.