Articles Posted in Criminal Sexual Conduct

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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.

In what looked like an impossible hurdle to climb, the law firm of Grabel and Associates shocked the state of Michigan by winning their second decision before the Michigan Supreme Court in less than a 3-week time span when the highest court of the state overturned the “People v. Alexander” decision that was rendered before the Michigan Court of Appeals (People v. Alexander, 2016 WL 5887900 [Red Flagged Michigan Court of Appeals decision]).

The case is one that has garnered an immense amount of controversy on social media and beyond. At trial, a jury found former Michigan State Police Officer Brian Alexander guilty of four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct but after that decision was rendered the defendant filed a motion for a new trial and evidentiary hearing based upon various allegations which included inconsistent testimony that was on the record at the preliminary hearing and new evidence that could’ve changed the outcome of the case. The trial court granted the motion and with it a new trial was ordered. The Michigan Court of Appeals overturned the trial court’s decision and now the Michigan Supreme Court weighed in by overturning the Appellate Court which leaves the legal community to ponder whether or not newly discovered evidence will grant a new trial? Grabel04a-2-300x146

Scott Grabel of Grabel and Associates was the lead counsel for the defense. Grabel spoke of the Supreme Court’s decision and weighed in on the law. Grabel was quoted as saying, “Whenever you are faced with a decision such as this, we have to turn to “People v. Cress” which lays out the elements that have to be proven (People v. Cress,  468 Mich 678, 664 NW2d 174 [2003]). The Cress court provides the blueprint and once that research is completed, it’s time to go to battle. Today, our Supreme Court voted in the favor of protecting the constitutional rights of not only Brian Alexander but anyone faced with similar circumstances and now he has a new chance at freedom. As a criminal defense attorney, the only thing that we can really ask is that our court system preserves the protections of our constitution. Today, I’m proud to say that was accomplished.”

Recently it was reported that Grant Perry, a wide receiver for the University of Michigan football teamiStock_000011098721_Full-2-300x200 from Royal Oak was arrested after allegedly touching a woman in an inappropriate manner as Perry and the woman were in line waiting to enter an East Lansing bar.  The incident reportedly occurred on October 15.  Perry, who is 19 years old, was charged with a single count of underage drinking, two counts of criminal sexual conduct, and one count of assaulting, battering, resisting or obstructing an officer.

December 29th news reports reveal Perry denied that he sexually assault the woman.  The incident took place at a bar and restaurant locating in East Lansing, Lou & Harry’s, where witnesses said Perry and two other men tried to cut in line while approximately 20 or 25 others waited outside of the establishment.  One officer reported that after requesting Perry’s identification, he fumbled through his wallet and attempted to run away before he was apprehended and arrested by another officer.
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Michigan criminal defense attorneys know that individuals found guilty of sex crimes involving children face extremely serious consequences. Recently, 35-year-old Kevin M. Lambert of Ypsilanti was sentenced to up to 70 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to six counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a 4-year-old girl who was in his care, according to news reports. Michigan Department of Corrections Struggles With Budget Challenges Pic

In October of last year, Lambert was charged in federal court for producing, distributing, receipt, and possession of child pornography. An undercover federal agent discovered that several videos and images of a young female child were displayed in a chat room, posted by a user with screen name Akyle679, and that the user insinuated the young girl was a child who was in his care. After discovering that the screen name belonged to Lambert on the Kik messaging app, agents began surveilling Lambert’s home. He was taken into federal custody and indicted on the charges.

The incidents took place between April and October of last year; all child pornography cases are handled at the federal level. On July 14, Lambert was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison by U.S. Eastern District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds on the producing, distributing, and possessing charges. An incident in June 2015 led to charges on six counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which Lambert pleaded guilty to. These charges resulted in the 70-year sentence handed down on July 20. Lambert will serve the 40-year and 40 to 70 year sentences concurrently.

On Tuesday, September 29, a Lubbock, TX man was indicted in an aggravated assault case involving a woman he allegedly abducted on September 9. Tony Price, 59, is accused of sexually assaulting the 59-year-old woman on three occasions in his apartment. He is charged with three counts of first-degree felony aggravated sexual assault, according to news reports. iStock_000011602905_Large (2)

Price allegedly struck the woman and forced her to perform sexual acts. The next day, the victim convinced Price to take her to pay her electric bill at the Lubbock Power & Light office. While inside the office, the woman got the attention of an off-duty police officer and let him know she needed help. Price fled the scene, and was arrested six days later on September 15. He remains in the Lubbock County Detention Center on a bond of $25,000.

The victim claims that Price kept her against her will, then threatened, beat, and raped her.

On Tuesday, September 22 it was announced that 61-year-old Dr. Farooq Rehman, a neurologist in Old Bridge, NJ, had been charged with the alleged sexual assault of a female patient. Rehman resides in Colts Neck. Famous Criminal Law Cases in U.S. History Pic

According to news reports at CBS and My Central Jersey, Rehman is accused of sexually assaulting a patient in his office during examinations by improperly touching the victim, a 37-year-old woman whose name was not released. The woman alleges this activity occurred during visits to the doctor’s office between August 26 and September 9 of this year, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office.

Investigators with the Old Bridge Police Dept. began investigating the case after the alleged victim contact police. Rehman has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual contact, and was held on a $100,000 bail at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center at last report.

Last week, 23-year-old Aurelio Hernandez-Gomez was jailed on charges of criminal sexual conduct in connection with a 13-year-old girl who had been missing out of Florida.  On Friday, July 10, Hernandez-Gomez was arraigned on charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct; he also has felony arrest warrants out of Florida for interference with child custody and kidnapping.

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Dept. deputies investigated a residence in Hartford Township and being contacted by Polk County authorities seeking their assistance in the case of the missing girl.  Authorities believed she was with Hernandez-Gomez, which turned out to be the case.  When deputies searched the residence along with the Pokagon Tribal and Cover Township police departments, the girl and suspect were found hiding.  After investigating further, deputies determined that the girl had been sexually assaulted by the suspect.
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In November of last year, 26-year-old Adam J. Walker pleaded no contest to three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct against someone age 13 through 15, according to a news article at Mlive.com. Walker was initially charged with three counts of first-degree CSC during the commission of a felony; he was also charged with two other felonies related to injuries his grandmother suffered when he attempted to steal her vehicle. Those charges were also dropped by prosecutors in exchange for the plea.11637793_s

As Walker sat in jail following the incident in which his grandmother’s foot was broken as he stole his grandparents’ vehicle, prosecutors charged Walker with three counts of first-degree CSC during the commission of a felony, one count of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, and one count of using a computer to commit a crime. The warrant alleged that the victim was 13 years old, and that Walker delivered a controlled substance although news reports do not reveal what the drug was.

Walker claimed at his May 2014 arraignment hearing that he did not know anyone with the last name listed on the warrant, which is the name used to identify the alleged victim. He also stressed at his arraignment the fact that he was married.

Recently, it was announced that a west suburban Chicago police officer was charged with several counts involving the alleges sexual assault of a girl younger than 13 years of age. According to CBS Chicago, David L. Wright, a police officer with Elburn for more than 20 years, has been sexually assaulting a child for more than 10 years. He has been charged with 11 counts of criminal sexual assault and 10 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault. police-on-the-scene-1172422-m

A statement from prosecutors allege that Wright has been sexually assaulting a child he knew since March of 2005, and the sexual assaults continued until just this month when he was arrested at his Campton Hills home. Prosecutors say when the assaults initially began, the victim was under 13. Wright has been placed on paid administrative leave with the Elburn police, pending the outcome of the investigation. According to news reports, he is currently in the Kane County Jail on a $500,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 6. Wright is 53 years old.

In Illinois, criminal sexual assault is a term used in place of rape. Offenders do not have the option of probation, as this is a non-probationable felony charge. The penalties for those found guilty include four to 15 years in prison. Predatory criminal sexual assault is more serious, with penalties that include a prison term of six to 30 years.

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