Darion Cole-Hickonbottom, a 23-year-old Ann Arbor man, recently pleaded guilty to arson and having sex with a 14-year-old girl who allegedly worked in conjunction with Cole-Hickonbottom in stealing clothes, and Xbox controller and other items from vehicles in July of this year at the University of Michigan on South Forest Avenue. The two then allegedly set an elevator on fire after having sex in it, according to news reports an AnnArbor.com.
On July 23, Cole-Hickonbottom and the 14-year old girl were taken into custody by police who received a call from the emergency phone located in an elevator at University of Michigan’s Church Street parking structure. The two suspects allegedly used the phone to report the fire, claiming that someone else set it. Diane Brown, spokeswoman for the U-M police, said that the suspect’s story quickly “fell apart.”
Following the incident, Cole-Hickonbottom was held at the Washtenaw County Jail on an arson charge; the girl was taken to a juvenile detention center.
After pleading guilty to the charges against him, the suspect will spend between 34 and 67 months in prison. News reports indicate that at the time of sentencing which is scheduled for March 14, three counts of third-degree CSC will be dropped due to the defendant pleading guilty to three counts of CSC, assault with intent to penetrate. Ann Arbor police stated that Cole-Hickonbottom and the 14-year-old girl had sex on the elevator before setting it on fire with clothing stolen from one of the vehicles and cardboard. The other counts of CSC the defendant faces stem from sexual encounters that allegedly occurred between July 20 and 22 with the same girl at Veterans Memorial Park.
The suspect is being held on a $250,000 cash bond at the Washtenaw County Jail.
Michigan sex crime lawyers understand the situation many individuals face after having sexual relations with a minor who agrees and in some situations may even be the instigator. Regardless of whether someone who is 14 years old is a willing participant, it is against the law. Serious criminal penalties will be handed out to those found guilty of a sex crime.
If you have been charged with any criminal offense that is sex-related, it is critical that you discuss your situation with a seasoned Michigan sex crimes attorney immediately. Your legal rights and freedom must be protected.