In May we wrote about Gary Hampton, a Grand Rapids man arrested for allegedly sexually exploiting a 15-year-old boy. On Thursday December 19, Hampton, who has cancer, was sentenced to 23 years in prison after he plead no contest to photographing the victim while engaging in sex acts, according to a news article at Mlive.com.
Authorities claim Hampton used drugs and cash to entice the victim into engaging in sex acts. Prior to sentencing, Hampton’s attorney wrote that his client’s cancer may have spread according to doctors, and that he may not live long enough to fulfill his sentence.
Hampton pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct and no contest to federal charges of possession of images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and sexual exploitation of a child following his arrest in April. According to court records, the state allegations against Hampton date back to 2004; federal charges are in connection with a March 7, 2006 incident.
Sharon Turek, Hampton’s attorney, said that her client had taken responsibility for the crimes, and that he chose to save the cost of going to trial for all involved by pleading to the charges. Turek also claimed that Hampton recently learned that his cancer, which he is on medication for, may have spread. Hampton was diagnosed in 2012 with bone and prostate cancer.
Considering Hampton’s age and health, it is very likely he will spend the rest of his life behind bars. In Michigan, sex crimes are punished harshly. Depending on the offense an individual is accused of committing, penalties may include fines, any number of years to life in prison, and the requirement to register as a sex offender. Unfortunately, there are individuals who are in prison today, convicted of crimes they did not commit.