In July we wrote about Steven Berg, a Saginaw Township man who rejected a plea deal from prosecutors who had offered Berg to plead guilty to three charges of criminal sexual conduct in exchange for dismissal of five counts. Berg refused the plea offer; now, he faces 16 charges in connection with three alleged victims, according to a news article at Mlive.com.
Berg, who is 44 years old, is now charged with two counts of causing a child to participate in sexually abusive material, one count of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct, possessing child sexually abusive material, four counts of first-degree CSC, six counts of second-degree CSC, and two counts of third-degree CSC. On Friday October 18, Saginaw County District Judge Terry L. Clark determined that prosecutors showed probable cause to take Berg to trial at the defendant’s preliminary hearing.
Berg was initially charged with four counts each of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct, however after he rejected the plea deal prosecutors offered, Saginaw County Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Barnes pursued the additional charges which are connected to two other alleged victims, charges she said she would not have pursued had Berg accepted the plea deal.
The new charges are in connection with alleged sexual abuse which goes back to 2011, and involves one victim who is 16 years old, and one who is between 13 and 16 years of age.
Berg remains in jail without bond; if convicted, he could face life in prison.
The charges against the defendant in this case are extremely serious. First-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious of all sex crimes, and leaves the accused facing maximum punishment of life in prison. Had Berg accepted the plea offer, it may have resulted in less severe punishment.
When an individual is facing charges for serious crimes such as these, it is highly advisable to work with a seasoned Michigan sex crime defense attorney. A lawyer with extensive experience in these types of cases will review the defendant’s case thoroughly in order to determine whether it is best to accept the prosecutor’s plea offer, or proceed to trial. Ultimately, a defense lawyer will work toward securing the best possible outcome for clients accused of sex crimes.