Recently, 38-year-old Michael B. Wade of Bay City was arraigned on a single count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a victim who was younger than 13 when the assault occurred more than two years ago.
A warrant for the defendant was issued in October of 2013, more than one year ago, although there is no explanation given in court records as to why there was such a long gap between when the warrant was issued and Wade’s December 29, 2014 arraignment.
First-degree criminal sexual conduct involves penetration with a maximum prison term of life; because the alleged victim was younger than 13 at the time, the mandatory minimum prison sentence Wade would face if convicted is 25 years.
The charge against Wade stems from a Bay City girl who was 12 at the time telling a forensic interviewer that the defendant had sexual relations with her in August of 2012. According to Wade’s attorney, his client denies engaging in any type of criminal activity with the alleged victim. Wade is looking forward to getting his day in court so that he can put these accusations behind him, his lawyer says.
Bay County District Judge Timothy J. Kelly set Wade’s bond at $500,000. In the event he posts the bond, he is ordered to have no contact with the girl.
In situations such as this, Michigan sex crime attorneys have to ask why someone who claims to have been sexually assaulted would wait for nearly 2 1/2 years to come forward. While the news report does not indicate whether the alleged victim and Wade knew each other, it is not unusual for children to make false allegations, particularly when coerced or encouraged by a family member or someone else to do so. Without compelling physical evidence, it is easy to see how an innocent individual could be wrongly convicted of rape or other sex crimes.
Anyone who has been accused of sexual assault or any sex-related offense must work with a Michigan sex crime lawyer who is highly qualified in these types of cases. Your freedom and reputation are at risk; seek capable and aggressive legal counsel right away.