Recently, Michael Chatterson, a former Genesee County sheriff’s lieutenant, pleaded no contest to allegations that he had engaged in sexual misconduct and stalking involving four female deputies, according to news reports at Mlive.com. On June 27, Chatterson pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges, stalking, and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Frank Manley, Chatterson’s defense attorney, said that his client will be placed on probation but will not serve jail time. Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton stated that because of the no contest plea, Chatterson will be required to register as a sex offender for 15 years.
The plea agreement is expected to go before Circuit Court Judge Archie Hayman on July 14, which is when the probationary terms for Chatterson will be determined; a sentencing hearing will also be scheduled at that time.
Chatterson, who is 43 years old, was responsible for overseeing the sheriff’s paramedic program. He was terminated after a subordinate deputy accused him of touching her in an inappropriate manner in his office. Chatterson has allegedly been involved in inappropriate sexual misconduct in the past, according to news reports which claim he admitted to showing an image of himself which was sexually explicit to a female deputy in 2004.
Chatterson was initially charged with three counts of stalking and one count of second-degree CSC. The maximum prison term for second-degree criminal sexual conduct is 15 years.
In many cases, a defendant who pleads guilty or no contest to reduced charges will face penalties that are far less harsh than for the original offense. In this case, it appears as though Chatterson will not spend time in jail, whereas had he gone to trial on charged of second-degree CSC, he may have faced 15 years behind bars. Even now, the requirement to register as a sex offender will no doubt have a negative impact on the defendant’s life, career, and reputation.
Anyone who is arrested or charged with a crime of a sexual nature should consult with a seasoned Michigan sex crime attorney immediately. Sex crimes are some of the most serious offenses anyone can be charged with, and in some cases leave the accused facing up to life in prison.