In July of 2012, 32-year-old Jason Algra, a Grand Ledge High School teacher, was accused of engaging in sexual conduct with two males who were students at the school, one 15-year-old and the other 17 years old. Algra was charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and five counts of third-degree CSC. He was bound over to Eaton County Circuit Court for trial.
On April 19, Eaton County Probate Judge Thomas Byerley declared a mistrial in the case, claiming an issue with the evidence presented in the case. A 12-member jury deliberated for more than 10 hours last week; according to a news article at Mlive.com, Algra will be re-tried in the case, although a new trial date had not been determined as of Friday.
Algra was employed by the school as a science teacher and swim team coach. When originally charged with the sex offenses, Judge Julie Reincke set Algra’s bond at $250,000 and outlined specific conditions, including that he may not contact either victim or be employed at any location where minors typically gather.
Allegedly, the sexual encounters with one of the alleged victim’s began on Facebook. After a private message from Algra to the student via Facebook asking if the student wanted to go swimming, the two swam together for the rest of the week, according to the student’s testimony. From then, the situation escalated when Algra and the student showered in the locker rooms.
The victim claims that when he heard of Algra’s involvement with another male student at the high school in September, he stopped seeing and communicating with Algra, although Algra still tried to communicate with him via text messaging.
If Algra’s new trial does end in a conviction on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Michigan sex crime attorneys know that he may face up to life in prison. The penalties for all sex crimes are extremely harsh, however first-degree CSC is the most serious sexual criminal offense.
If you have been accused of any sex crime no matter how minor it may seem, don’t put your reputation and future at risk; consult with a capable and aggressive Michigan sex crime lawyer immediately.