On Monday November 19, 32-year-old Bowen Wall, a former Albion music teacher, was sentenced to a minimum of two years in prison on a charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Wall allegedly had sex with a 15-year-old student between May 12 and May 19, and was charged in September. Wall pleaded no contest to the charge.
Wall was initially charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Because he pleaded no contest, the charge was reduced to third-degree CSC, which means Wall will not face life in prison. Jason Bomia, Wall’s attorney, stood with Wall as Calhoun County Circuit Judge Conrad Sindt announced the sentence; Wall had nothing to say. The mother of the alleged victim said, “She is a child and she feels guilty for what is happening to you.”
According to the Albion police, the relationship with Wall was consensual; however, because of the victim’s age she cannot legally consent. The girl’s mother told the judge that she had supported Wall as a teacher, and been a friend to him. She said in court, “I trusted you and you violated my daughter. You stole what is not yours. You had no right.”
Wall turned himself in to authorities in May when a warrant was issued for his arrest. The student and her mother reported the sexual relationship to authorities; the alleged victim was not identified, and it was believed that the sexual encounters took place off school grounds.
Michigan sex crime defense lawyers know that it is often the case that an underage individual has consensual sexual relations with an adult. However, adults are punished to the greatest extent possible under Michigan law. There are also circumstances in which innocent individuals are accused of sex-related offenses.
Regardless of an individual’s innocence or guilt, it is critical that those accused obtain the services of a skilled and capable Michigan sex crime defense attorney who will fight vigorously for a fair outcome. Without effective legal counsel, many individuals find they are facing substantial jail/prison time, steep fines and perhaps worst of all, the requirement to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives.