Jeffrey L. Gage, a 34-year-old Burt resident, is facing up to life behind bars after being charged with the sexual assault of two young girls over a period of 16 years, according to a news article at Mlive.com. Gage is accused of engaging in sexual acts with the girls who are now 13 and 24 years of age, including penetration, over a time period that spans from 1998 to the beginning of this year.
Gage was arraigned on the charges in Saginaw County District Court on Thursday, May 8, by Judge M. Randall Jurrens, who entered a not guilty plea on the defendant’s behalf. Gage is charged with five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of second-degree CSC. Judge Jurrens ordered Gage held on $40,000 or 10 percent bond, which he posted. He is now awaiting a trial date as he waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Judge Jurrens, which had been scheduled for May 13.
Gage allegedly sexually assaulted the two female victims in Saginaw County on various occasions. In the state of Michigan, the mandatory minimum sentence for penetration involving a victim younger than 13 is 25 years. The maximum penalty for first-degree criminal sexual conduct is life; however, the provision involving victims younger than 13 went into effect in 2006, therefore the mandatory minimum may not apply in every charge leveled against Gage due to the fact that some of the alleged crimes occurred prior to that date.
Regardless, sex crime lawyers in Saginaw County know the serious penalties Gage will face if found guilty of the charges against him. Not only may he face up to life in prison, he will also be required to register as a sex offender on the state’s sex offender registry.
Should someone who is accused of a sex crime always plead not guilty? If the person is completely innocent of the allegations, absolutely. However, there are situations in which pleading guilty or no contest may be the best approach, as in most cases a plea agreement involves pleading to a lesser charge, and therefore facing less damaging criminal penalties. Ultimately, an experienced Michigan sex crime attorney will work closely with the client to determine the best legal approach to ensure the best possible results for the client. In some situations it may be possible to avoid charges, or have them dismissed. It all depends on the facts of each individual case.
If you have been accused of a sex offense, do not hesitate before calling a seasoned defense attorney who is dedicated to outstanding results.