On Tuesday November 26, 27-year-old Alvin Blankenship pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Blankenship appeared before Saginaw County Circuit Judge Janet M. Boes, pleading to three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct by force or coercion in connection with a Blumfield Township incident which allegedly took place in July of 2012. The defendant also pleaded no contest to assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder. All four are felony counts involving the same woman, according to a news article at Mlive.com.
Initially, Blankenship was charged with unlawful imprisonment, interfering with electronic communication, second-degree child abuse, and five counts of first-degree CSC; prosecutors agreed to drop these counts in exchange for Blankenship’s plea.
Two separate incidents led to the charges against Blankenship; the child abuse and assault with intent to commit great bodily harm charges stem from this incident. The sexual assault charges are in connection with a July incident in which Blankenship allegedly told his ex-girlfriend he was taking her somewhere for a “legitimate reason.” The two were reportedly involved in an argument about getting back together when Blankenship started abusing the victim verbally, then would not let her call for help. He allegedly sexually assaulted her after stopping the vehicle the two were in while on the way to her mother’s home.
Blankenship’s ex-girlfriend maintains that he was abusive throughout their relationship. Blankenship is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Boes on January 7.
Third-degree criminal sexual conduct carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Had Blankenship not pleaded no contest and been found guilty of first-degree CSC, he would have faced up to life in prison. Blankenship may also spend up to 10 years in prison on the assault charges; the two sentences will run concurrently according to news reports.
Michigan sex crime defense attorneys understand how complex these types of cases can be, particularly when the alleged victim and defendant were involved in a relationship. Frequently, innocent people are accused of rape out of anger or vengeance. Regardless of the circumstances, those accused should take action immediately and contact an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who will work vigorously to protect their freedom and avoid serious criminal penalties.