Jon Ira Dalton, a 67-year-old Newaygo man who is accused of molesting four students on his first day as a substitute teacher at Kent City Elementary is mulling over a plea offer from prosecutors, according to a recent news article at Mlive.com.
Dalton is charged with four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, after he allegedly touched four elementary-age girls in an inappropriate manner. He waived his probable cause hearing on Wednesday, March 18.
News reports claim that Dalton touched fifth-grade girls over their clothes, touching some on their buttocks and private areas. The girls told investigators with the Children’s Assessment Center their stories, which led to his arrest. The alleged victims are all younger than 13 years of age, which is why Dalton is charged with felony second-degree CSC as opposed to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. If he does not take the plea offer and is found guilty of the charges against him, he will face up to 15 years in prison.
Prosecutors would allow Dalton to plead guilty to one charge rather than four, which would make it possible for the young girls to avoid testifying at trial. Dalton pleaded not guilty, however in order to keep the plea offer active, waived his right to a preliminary examination.
Dalton has been terminated by the school, and is free on $25,000 bond. According to news sources, he does not have a prior criminal record.
Allegations of sexual assault or molestation are extremely serious. Not only do those accused face possible prison time if found guilty, most are required to register as sex offenders. In many cases, individuals are falsely accused of sex-related crimes, although there is no doubt that many children and adults are the victims of sex crimes every day.
If you have been charged with a sex-related offense involving children, molestation, child pornography, Internet sex crime, or any similar offense, contact an experienced Michigan sex crimes attorney immediately. You must take quick action to protect not only your legal rights, but your freedom, career, and reputation as well.