Last month, 29-year-old Joshua C. Waite was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of second-degree CSC in the alleged sexual assault of a 6-year-old Saginaw County girl. Waite allegedly sexually assaulted the victim in Carrollton Township on September 19, according to his arrest warrant. On Monday, Saginaw County District Judge M.T. Thompson ruled at Waite’s preliminary hearing that probable cause exists for him to stand trial on only one of the charges, second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
First-degree criminal sexual conduct involves penetration, and carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. When someone younger than 13 is the alleged victim, the minimum sentence for those convicted is 25 years. Now, Waite will face up to 15 years in prison if he is convicted of second-degree CSC.
Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Janetsky dropped the first-degree charges against Waite when the young victim could not testify adequately regarding the penetration portion of the alleged sexual assault. However, the judge ruled that probable cause was established by the young girl regarding the second-degree charge.
As of Monday afternoon, Waite remained in jail on a bond of $10,000 or 10 percent as amended by the judge after the most serious charges were dropped.
In Michigan, first-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious sex crime charge, leaving those convicted facing possible life in prison. In this case, the defendant will face a maximum of 15 years in prison if found guilty of second-degree CSC. While no one wants to spend any time at all behind bars, 15 years is better than life. It remains to be seen whether the defendant in this case will proceed to trial on the charge, or whether a plea deal may be agreed upon. In the majority of cases, defendants who enter a guilty or no contest plea to lesser charges will face punishment that is less harsh.
While it is impossible to know in this case, young children are often “coached” into saying things or making up stories that are not true by adults who want revenge for one reason or another. In order to protect your legal rights and freedom, it is critical to work with a highly skilled Michigan sex crime defense attorney. Regardless of your situation, do not face accusations of sexual assault or rape on your own.