On February 8, 58-year-old Lawrence Gibbs was found to be guilty of sexually assaulting three minors, along with a man who is now 30 years old and reportedly molested by Gibbs as a young boy. Gibbs is a resident of Delhi Township, and potentially faces life in prison when sentenced, which is scheduled for March 6 in front of Judge Joyce Draganchuk in Ingham County Circuit Court.
At the time of the alleged assaults, all of the four victims were 16 years old or younger, according to the Lansing State Journal. Gibbs was found guilty on one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of second-degree CSC, and one count of fourth-degree CSC.
During Gibbs’ trial, eleven individuals (all males) testified that the defendant touched them inappropriately; some indicated situations involving oral sex as well. Allegations of sexual assault began in the 1970s by Gibbs’ nephew. News reports indicate that the assaults occurred over a four-decade time period.
Gibbs was convicted of a sex offense in 2001 in Missaukee County, and is a registered sex offender. The most recent allegations involve two brothers who were teenagers when they alleged that Gibbs inappropriately touched them in 2011 while helping Gibbs move and doing other chores he had hired the brothers to do. Other charges against Gibbs involve an incident in which the defendant allegedly made thrusting motions against a 9-year-old Okemos boy while working on a furnace in 2011, and the 30-year-old man who claimed that he was molested by Gibbs when he lived next door to him as a boy.
Paul Toman, Gibbs defense attorney, argued in court that in most cases, alleged victims had been fired by the defendant or had other grudges against him, reasons to accuse his client of the sexual offenses. He also said that there were inconsistencies in some of the accusers’ stories.
Michigan sex crimes lawyers know that while it is not true in every situation, there are times when innocent people are accused of crimes they did not commit out of spite or as a form of revenge. The criminal penalties for individuals convicted of sex-related offenses are extremely severe.
If you have been arrested for any sex-related crime or are under investigation, do not waste any time in obtaining effective legal counsel. Contact an aggressive Michigan sex crimes defense attorney at once.