Articles Posted in Criminal Sexual Conduct

Original Case Details

A man from the Northern Michigan County of Roscommon was recently found guilty of multiple sex crimes that allege he held a woman against her will and forced her to clean his house and perform sex acts. The woman was actually herself arrested for stealing a vehicle, but she told Roscommon County police officers that she escaped from a home where she was being held against her will and was being forced into prostitution. She said that two men, James Jarrell and Jeffrey Kobel were her captors and that they also dealt drugs from the home. She told police that she was taken from her home in Ypsilanti and was forced to be in Northern Michigan by the men. Multiple police and investigative agencies cooperated to respond to the home where these men were alleged to live. The Michigan State Police sent the Emergency Support Team (EST), the Strike Team Investigative Narcotics Group (STING), the Houghton Lake Post, and a police canine to join the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office in executing a search warrant on Jarrell and Kobel’s home. The men were arrested and criminally charged. Jarrell was recently found guilty on his charges while Kobel awaits his trial. iStock_000011602905_Large-2-300x200

Criminal Charges and Penalties

Original Case Details

An Allegan County Judge is under fire for emails uncovered that show the judge communicating privately with a prosecutor about a case she presided over during a jury trial. Allegan Circuit Court Judge Margaret Zuzich-Bakker emailed Allegan County Prosecutor Myrene Koch as witnesses testified in front of her and inquired about the answers she was hearing and about the general investigation of the case. The Allegan County Prosecutor responded to the initial email and continued to have substantive conversations about the case. The case in question was a multi-count criminal sexual conduct case. The defendant in the case was charged and convicted with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was later sentenced by Judge Zuzich-Bakker to a minimum of 20 years in prison for each conviction which run concurrently. When it was discovered Judge Zuzich-Bakker had privately communicated with the prosecutor’s office during the trial in question, an appeal was made to the court. Judge William Baillargeon decided in favor of the appellant and granted him a new trial. If you are facing an investigation or criminal charges related to accusations of sexual assault, then it is important that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. iStock_000003118029_Large-2-300x200

Trial Judge’s Objectionable Emails

Original Case Details

A 17-year-old from Detroit is facing multiple criminal charges as an adult stemming from four different incidents that allege that he sexually assaulted multiple women and used a firearm to commit multiple crimes. Jaden Deangelo Jones is firstly accused of sexually assaulting a woman 41 years of age on Grand River in Detroit. He is also accused of firing a single shot at a 36-year-old woman who rejected his sexual advances about an hour later on Pierson near Grand River in Detroit. Investigators also believe that Jones grabbed a woman 67 years of age by her buttocks, robbed her at gunpoint, and followed her home before he fled after seeing the woman’s husband. Lastly, he is alleged to have robbed a woman 43 years of age at gunpoint and also sexually assaulted her on Lahser in Detroit. Jones is currently being held on all four cases separately. He is currently being held on cash bonds that total over $2 million. iStock_000011602905_Large-2-300x200

Criminal Charges and Potential Penalties

Original Case Details

Former Grand Traverse County Jail Administrator is facing serious accusations involving the sexual assault and explicit relationships with current and former female inmates. Allegations involving Ritter having inappropriate relationships with female inmates surfaced last year during an internal investigation that uncovered sexually charged text messages and explicit photographs of former and current inmates on his government-issued cell phone and laptop. He is accused of taking a former inmate to a Lansing hotel and then expensing it to the County, as well as signing onto a corrections department computer to a single mother dating website and further saving a profile as “Big Tex.” He is also accused of stealing drug test kits neglecting his duty to make sound financial decisions with county money by costing Grand Traverse County nearly $10,000 in keeping a specific female prisoner past her sentence while sending other inmates to other jails at the County’s expense. His bond was set at $50,000 at his arraignment. iStock_000022895015_Full-2-300x200

Criminal Charges and Potential Penalties

Original Case Details

A 21-year-old man from Genoa Township was convicted of multiple counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the first degree, second degree, and assault with the intent to commit sexual penetration back in March 11 of this year. The alleged victim testified that the man raped her multiple times at a golf course after they went riding together on a golf cart looking for a deer back in 2018. Prosecutors previously offered to dismiss three of the criminal sexual conduct charges, as part of a plea agreement, a deal which the man declined to take. He now faces up to life in prison. iStock_000006220072_Double-2-300x200

Allegations Made Against Assistant Prosecutor

Original Case Details

A Marquette man was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree for his alleged abuse of his 12-year-old then stepdaughter. The abuse allegedly began about a year after the minor moved from Indiana to Michigan to live with her mother and stepfather (the defendant). The abuse became more frequent and continued until the girl was approximately 15 years old. The defendant subsequently divorced from the girl’s mother and moved on. The girl and her mother moved back to Indiana where the girl told her biological father about the abuse and informed local police, but no investigation resulted. She later confronted the defendant in a Facebook message regarding his sexual abuse. The defendant’s girlfriend saw the message and responded to the young girl asking about the alleged abuse. The girlfriend then contacted the stepdaughter of the defendant’s half-sister about the alleged abuse and learned that the defendant had also had sex with that girl when she was about 14 or 15 years old. The defendant was charged with abusing both girls and the trial court subsequently severed the cases so each case could be tried separately. The trial court, however, allowed “other acts” evidence to come in under Michigan Rules of Evidence (MRE) Rule 403, which resulted in testimony coming in from the other alleged victim at his trial, resulting in a conviction. It is important to note that these offenses were tried some 20 years after the alleged crimes. iStock_000011602905_Large-2-300x200

The Appeal

Original Case Details

A Lansing, MI man was convicted back in November 2018 of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl. He was convicted of first degree criminal sexual conduct, second degree criminal sexual conduct, and assault with intent to commit sexual penetration. He was sentenced to a minimum of 72 years in prison by Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who also presided over his jury trial. Prior to the trial, it was agreed that a support person could sit with the child while she testified about what the man allegedly did to her. All non-essential people were not allowed to be in the courtroom while she testified, and her testimony would be broadcast to a closed-circuit TV in another room to satisfy the defendant’s right to a public trial. Judge Aquilina also decided that due to the nature of the case and the girl having previously testified that she was suicidal, only the girl’s voice would be broadcast into the closed-circuit TV next door and not her face, so the judge blocked the cameras. Both the prosecutor and defense attorney objected to this decision, to which the judge overruled them and stated to appeal her if they were not satisfied. Essentially, the judge created an appeal issue for the defense which led to a direct appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals. Grabel04a-2-300x146

Court Of Appeals Decision

Watching the news recently I saw that Michigan State University was fined $4.5 Million for failing to protect the victims in the Larry Nassar case and it got me thinking, I wonder what laws may be changed because of this? iStock_000011602905_Large-2-300x200

In June of 2019, the criminal case involving Larry Nassar prompted Michigan House Representatives to pass House Bill 4374. For those of you not familiar with the Larry Nassar case, Larry Nassar was a former sports doctor who was sentenced to a great deal of time in prison for numerous counts of criminal sexual conduct while working for Michigan State University and the United States Gymnastics team. Because of his actions while working for the university, House Bill 4374 was proposed and passed in the Michigan House of Representatives.

This bill amends Michigan Compiled Law (MCL 750.483a) to include “a person shall not use his or her professional position of authority over another person to prevent or attempt to prevent the person from reporting a crime listed in section 136b, 520b, 520c, 520d, 520e, or 520g, that is committed or attempted by another person.” By doing so the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by one year or a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.

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Larry Nassar

Today was a big day in the world of criminal law. A hero to many was convicted of a crime that the media focused on and the story is trending across Facebook and Twitter of Bill Cosby being deemed guilty of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand. While many in the #MeToo movement are celebrating a victory, we have to take a step back and analyze just where the future of Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) is heading and we have to ask if those accused are facing conviction before the complaint has even been drawn up? We will discuss 3 different situations and break down the concept with commentary and a study of the situation.

I: Bill Cosby

With a verdict of guilty in the Bill Cosby case, legal pundits across the country are faced with a decision of whether the outcome was one that was just or one that was the product of outrage on social media? The Cosby decision leads many to wonder if the famed comedian and actor was a victim of his own fame or someone that truly deserved the punishment that will be dealt out at sentencing. In any event, the Cosby decision is one that is filled with controversy and will have a profound affect the legal community. How the judicial system and social media will continue to co-exist is a matter of pure speculation but one that needs to be addressed and this article will attempt to do so.

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Photo Credit: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

There is no question that the “#MeToo” Movement has left a resounding mark on those in the criminal defense sector and the state of Michigan has come to the forefront with accusations of criminal assault on the rise. To review the Cosby case and to discuss the impact felt across the state of Michigan, we sat down with leaders in the criminal law sector to gather their thoughts on the issue.

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