Recently 36-year-old Brian Norbert Otto of Jackson pleaded guilty in the sexual assault of a female relative who was 6 and 7 years old at the time the alleged assault occurred; she is now 9 years old. Otto is scheduled to be sentenced on May 29 by Jackson County Circuit Judge Susan Beebe on the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge, which is punishable by up to life in prison.
In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutor’s have altered the charge eliminating the mandate that Otto serve a minimum of 25 years in prison because the alleged victim is younger than 13, according to a news article at Mlive.com. In addition, prosecutors dismissed two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of first-degree CSC in exchange for Otto’s guilty plea.
According to Assistant Prosecutor Kati Rezmierski, the case boils down to he said, she said. Rezmierski said that essentially, this case hinges on the word of the accused abuser and the victim, which may be enough for a conviction by a jury although in some cases it makes it difficult to obtain a conviction. Otto pleaded guilty to the first-degree CSC charge on April 10.
The alleged victim’s mother was away when Otto had contact with the girl on numerous occasions according to the news article. Deputy Chief John Holda said that the girl’s mother reported the sexual assault to police in February of 2012 after her daughter told her what was happening. Otto was arrested by police and arraigned the same month, and has been held in the Jackson County Jail since that time.
While this is certainly a traumatic experience for the young victim if the allegations are true, Michigan sex crime attorneys know that many individuals who are accused of sexual assault, rape, or other sex-related offenses are innocent. Children are often coerced by adults into making claims that are not true, although this certainly isn’t the case in every situation.
The penalties for any sex crime are harsh; the accused individual’s freedom, reputation, and future are at risk. If you have been arrested or charged with criminal sexual conduct, do not hesitate before contacting a skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crime defense lawyer.