Clare County Rape Conviction Upheld

The Michigan Court of Appeals has just upheld the rape and kidnapping conviction of a Clare County man – Justin Todd Gaskill – who is currently serving a 35 to 60 year conviction for a rape of an 11-year-old girl. Gaskill filed a sex crimes appeal, alleging trial court error. Gaskill asserted that lower trial court erred in determining that he was fit to stand trial, and also alleged that he was insane at the time that he kidnapped and raped an 11-year-old girl in Farwell.

In Michigan, sex crime convictions are serious and carry with them significant penalties. As a result, if you have been convicted of a sex crime or accepted a plea deal that seems unfair, you may want to appeal your case. It’s important to speak with a skilled Michigan sex crime appeals attorney to review your case.

Here – the issue raised on appeal was whether Gaskill was fit to stand trial and whether the insanity defense was available. In some situations, “legal insanity,” may be a complete defense to criminal prosecution. Legal insanity is defined by the Michigan mental health code as an individual who because of a mental illness or mental retardation “lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his or her conduct, or to conform his or her conduct to the requirements of the law.” If the court concludes that a person is “legally insane” then he or she may be acquitted of a crime.

The insanity defense may be used as part of a vigorous criminal defense strategy. If you or a loved one has been charged with a Michigan sex crime, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable sex crimes law firm that is familiar with the most effective defenses and strategies that may help you get your charges reduced or even eliminated.


Gaskill’s case had initially been brought in Clare County, by was moved to Gladwin County after a mistrial was declared.

Here, Gaskill alleged that a voice named ‘Jim’ either committed the offenses or made him commit the offenses. However Judges Jane E. Markey, Jane M. Beckering and Michael J. Kelly ruled against him, writing that Farwell did not present a compelling case during his criminal sexual conduct trial.

If you have been charged with Michigan sex crime, or have been convicted of a sex crime and may be interested in seeking appellate review, contact the top Michigan sex crime and Michigan sex crime appeals attorneys at Grabel & Associates for an immediate consultation.