On June 17, 29-year-old Gregory S. Woods of Saginaw allegedly provided an 18-year-old woman with marijuana before sexually assaulting her at his apartment on the city’s South Side, according to a news article at Mlive.com. Woods has been charged with unlawful imprisonment, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, felonious assault, and two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct during the commission of a felony, the felony being the marijuana charge according to Woods’ arrest warrant. Woods was also charged as a second-time felonious sexual offender by prosecutors because of a conviction for a sex crime in 2006.
The teenage girl involved in the sexual assault was at Woods’ apartment getting marijuana when the alleged sexual assault took place. Eventually, the defendant let the girl leave according to authorities, who told them that she told her mother about what had happened. The mother drove to the defendant’s home to confront him about what had happened, and Woods allegedly crashed his vehicle into hers. This incident was the basis for the felonious assault charge.
Woods was held without bond following his June 23 arraignment hearing at which a not guilty plea was entered by Saginaw County district Judge Kyle Higgs Tarrant. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 7.
First-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious sex offense of all, and involves penetration; essentially, it is rape when the victim does not consent. If found guilty, Woods could face up to life in prison. Because Woods was charged as a second-time felonious sexual offender, he will face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison.
How this case proceeds and the hard evidence will determine Woods’ future. In many cases where the evidence is indisputable, Michigan sex crime defense attorneys will discuss the pros and cons of entering a no contest or guilty plea. For instance, when an offender enters a guilty plea to a lesser charge, it not only saves the cost of putting the defendant on trial, but leaves the offender facing less serious criminal penalties as well. Often when a defendant pleads guilty or no contest to a sex crime, the number of years in prison the defendant is sentenced to is greatly reduced.
However, if the evidence is sparse and the defendant is innocent of the allegations, going to trial is suggested as no defendant who is completely innocent should plead guilty to a crime he or she did not commit. How the situation turns out depends largely on the experience and skill of the Michigan sex crime lawyer you choose.