On Thursday September 5, 61-year-old Richard S. McLean of Bay City was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison after he pleaded no contest to molesting a preteen girl in June of this year. McLean was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person younger than 13. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped one of the charges.
The victim was 11 years old when the alleged molestation took place, according to a news article at Mlive.com. Second-degree criminal sexual conduct does not involve penetration, and is a 15-year felony.
Court records indicate the alleged victim told a neighbor that the defendant had placed his hands underneath her clothing and on top of her bra. This occurred on June 2, which was a Sunday; the same situation occurred the following day on Monday, although this time the victim alleged McLean placed his hands under her bra. The girl’s story remained the same when she recanted it to Bay City public safety officers and her mother.
Michigan sex crime lawyers understand the complexity of these types of situations. When no penetration is involved, it is difficult to determine whether the alleged perpetrator may have been falsely accused. In this case, McLean pleaded no contest, however this is not an indication of guilt. In a situation where the defendant pleads not guilty and goes to trial, prosecutors may have a difficult time proving guilt based on an alleged victim’s accusations alone, without the existence of physical evidence.
Regardless of the seriousness of the charges, a conviction for any sexual offense will leave the accused facing not only harsh criminal penalties, but with a tarnished reputation and possibly loss of his/her career. Being labeled a sex offender results in being shunned in society, and limits where you may live or even work. If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with child molestation, rape, or any related offense, it is critical to speak with a seasoned Michigan sex crime attorney right away.