In late December, 69-year-old James Gordon Tingley of Vandercook Lake was arraigned on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the alleged sexual assault of two girls, according to news reports at Mlive.com. Tingley’s preliminary exam is scheduled for February 14.
The two alleged victims, who are now 12 and 15, are sisters who recently told their foster parents about the sexual abuse, according to Detective Sgt. Christopher Boulter of Blackman-Leoni Township public safety, who also said that the defendant’s neighbor “pimped” the 15 year old girl to Tingley, who paid the neighbor for sexual favors from the older girl. The neighbor, 44-year-old Randy Stevens, is also charged with assaulting the 15-year-old girl.
Investigators believe the 12-year-old girl was also sexually assaulted by Tingley, although they have no evidence that Stevens was involved. Stevens is a father to 14 children, who he admitted to having let visit a Leoni Township man, Geoffrey Friant, who is currently serving up to 80 years in prison for first-degree CSC. Stevens is also in prison after being sentenced to up to 10 years in prison this month for second-degree child abuse.
Tingley is lodged in the county jail on a $100,000 bond, and according to records at the Michigan Department of Corrections is on probation for carrying a concealed weapon.
If convicted on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Tingley could spend the rest of his life behind bars. The maximum punishment for first-degree CSC in Michigan is life in prison. This is the most serious sex-related offense of all, leaving the defendant to face the same punishment as those who are found guilty of first-degree murder.
Criminal penalties for sexual crimes are extremely severe in the state; anyone who is accused of sexual assault, rape, or even an Internet sex crime must consult with a skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crime defense attorney immediately. Without effective legal guidance your reputation, career, and freedom are at stake. Your defense lawyer will work vigorously to protect your freedom and help prevent damaging criminal penalties.