Articles Posted in Statutory Rape

On Sunday October 25, two Fulton, MO men were arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl after giving her alcohol and drugs, according to a recent article at Fox 2 News. iStock_000023802012_XXXLarge (2)

The men, 42-year-old Brent Gibson and 26-year-old Lucas Pickering, have been charged with second-degree statutory rape, first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, possession of a controlled substance, and other offenses. The men reportedly raped the girl in a motel room in Kingdom City after injecting what the victim believed was methamphetamine into her arm.

An officer who interviewed the girl said that she had two needle puncture marks on her arm, consistent with her story that she was injected twice. Tests also revealed marijuana in the victim’s blood. She told investigators that both men raped her while she was awake, but incapacitated by the alcohol and drugs. A probable cause statement revealed that Pickering gave the victim meth that he snorted and smoked with her, and bought her alcohol.

On August 6 of this year, a minor male student who attended a Van Buren, Arkansas high school reported to police that he had been having a sexual relationship with 25-year-old Katherine Nicole Eskridge, a volleyball and physical education coach with the Van Buren School District. The relationship began in March, according to news reports at 5 News and Arkansas Online. volleyball-1559100

Eskridge reportedly turned herself in to police on September 2 on a warrant for first-degree sexual assault. The alleged victim reported that he and Eskridge had engaged in sex “at least 100 times,” and that they would have sexual relations at the coach’s Fort Smith home, as well as other areas including his own parents’ home and behind a mini-storage unit. The student told police that he was living with Eskridge in her home, and that the relationship had continued from March until early August. Eskridge resigned her position with the school district on August 15.

The minor student told investigators that he and Eskridge became friends after playing gaming app Trivia Crack. He decided to report the relationship after Eskridge stole some of his belongings, saying he had begun to feel guilty. He also reported the former coach left him at a McDonald’s the two had stopped at while enroute to Dallas, and that she had driven off with his wallet and other belongings after he was joking around about revealing their relationship.

A Pontiac girl who claimed she had sex with a 23-year-old man is believed to have been raped by a convicted sex offender. The girl, who is 13 years old, told her mother that she had sex with the man several times, the most recent incident occurring about one month ago. When the girl’s mother discovered the situation, she reported it to Oakland County sheriff’s deputies.

After receiving the call from the girl’s mother, deputies went to the suspect’s home. Deputies learned that the suspect is a convicted sex offender and that there were outstanding warrants against him for failing to register as a sex offender and felony probation violation. News reports at MLive state that reporters attempted to contact the Sheriff’s Department to inquire why the suspect had not already been taken into custody for the outstanding warrants, but failed to get a response at that time.

The suspect’s name was not revealed in reports, however he was arrested for suspected first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Michigan sex crimes lawyers know that individuals arrested and subsequently convicted on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct face serious criminal penalties. This is the most serious of all criminal sex offenses, with individuals who are convicted facing possible life in prison. Additionally, a sex offender who fails to register is guilty of a felony offense that is punishable by up to four years in prison and/or fines of up to $2,000.

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Damon Raines, a 20-year-old Grand Rapids man, was sentenced to 15 to 60 years in prison after being convicted on charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. According to news reports, Raines pleaded guilty to the crime and was charged as a fourth-time habitual offender.

In a Kent County Circuit Court on November 13, Defense Attorney Valerie Foster explained to the judge that Raines and his almost 16-year-old alleged victim were only four years apart in age. Now, it seems that this slight age difference will leave Raines incarcerated for more than a decade of his young life.

Raines was arrested after a reported shooting in December of 2011; as police arrived on the scene at a home on Ridgebrook Drive SE, they learned that Raines had taken a 15-year-old runaway into his bedroom and allegedly had sex with the girl. It was during this time that Raines was showing the girl a Smith and Wesson revolver when it accidentally discharged, according to investigators. The girl suffered numerous injuries to her pancreas, liver, diaphragm and arms; Raines and two others drove the girl to Metro Health Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

Foster asked the judge to consider the action Raines took in saving the girl’s life, stating that in her mind, their relationship was something of a Romeo and Juliet, that it wasn’t like an older man and teen girl considering their ages.

Circuit Judge Donald Johnston said there were circumstances that could not be ignored in the sentencing of Raines, and spoke of the defendant’s current probation for possessing methamphetamine, as well as the fact that a 9 mm pistol, the Smith and Wesson revolver and a sawed-off shotgun were found in the home, along with marijuana and cocaine.

Raines, a young man who was 19 years old when the incident took place, believed that the runaway girl was 16 at the time, according to his mother. Although the sexual intercourse was consensual and Raines had given the girl a place to stay, his unfortunate mistakes will cost him a good portion of his life.

Michigan sex crimes attorneys know that young people often make horrible and life-changing mistakes such as this, having sexual relationships with those they believe to be of age. Sometimes the cost of young innocence is great, and young peoples’ lives ruined.

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In May of this year, 72-year-old Roland J. Flath, a resident of Fond du Lac Wisconsin, pleaded guilty to charges of traveling in foreign commerce and engaging and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. Flath pleaded guilty in a Milwaukee federal court after being accused in June of 2010 of having sexual relations with a minor in Belize for approximately 4 years, from the time the girl was 10 years old until she was 14. The alleged sex offenses occurred between the years of 2006 and 2010 according to reports.

On September 6, 2012 Flath was sentenced to 60 months in prison by Judge J.P. Stadtmueller of the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. He was also sentenced to 10 years of supervised release.

After being charged in October of 2010, Flath was arrested in February of 2011 by the Guatemalan National Civil Police and extradited to the U.S., where he was again arrested, this time by U.S. Marshals Service and ICE agents.

Belize police reports revealed that in 2007 when the victim was 10 years old, she had gone to Roland Flath’s residence in Belize. After being invited in, Flath showed the girl nude pictures in a book and asked her if she wanted to do what those pictures were depicting, to which the girl answered “no.” Police stated that at that point Flath told the girl she was pretty and removed her blouse. Over the course of the next 4 years the girl visited Flath approximately 30 to 35 times according to reports. The victim stated to police that oral sex and other sexual acts were performed during these visits.

Individuals who are convicted of sex offenses involving minors face severe consequences. Michigan sex crime lawyers know that those accused of statutory rape, child abusive activity, possession of child pornographic materials and other offenses may face substantial prison time, a criminal record and being labeled as a sex offender for a lifetime.

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In March of this year, federal agents took 43-year-old Herman Kamphuis in to custody after nabbing him for sex crimes allegedly committed in Ohio. According to news reports, Kamphuis drove from Michigan to Ohio to have sex with two girls who were purportedly 6- and 11-years-old after speaking with who he thought was their father online. The individual he was communicating with was actually an undercover officer.

Kamphuis chatted with and messaged the officer in early February according to the criminal complaint. Allegedly, Kamphuis told who he believed to be the father of the two girls that he wanted to “make a 25 year fantasy come true” by having sex with the two girls.

Additionally, the accused brought his computer with him when he went to Ohio for a meeting with the father. The computer allegedly had more than 100 pornographic videos and images of children on it. Kamphuis was placed in a Columbus jail without bond.

Last week, Kamphuis was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison, 145 months with credit for time served. News reports state that he will serve 15 years probation and be placed on a sex offender program as well.

Michigan statutory rape defense attorneys know the serious consequences those convicted of crimes which are sexual in nature face. A charge of criminal sexual conduct can result in 2 years to life in prison, depending upon the degree the accused is convicted of. First-degree criminal sexual conduct often means a mandatory sentence of 25 years behind bars.

Additionally, those convicted on charges of possession of child pornography may face 4 or more years in prison, along with fines of up to $10,000. If charged at the federal level, penalties can be even harsher. Unfortunately, many innocent individuals are charged with offenses which are sexual in nature due to the heavy use of computers and the internet today. Often, pornographic images are unknowingly downloaded. Even viewing images that involve a minor can lead to serious consequences.

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In early June of this year, Alan R. Kullman, principal of Evart High School, was arrested after allegedly having a sexual relationship with a student between the ages of 13 and 16. He was charged with three counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. According to news reports, Kullman had been under investigation by the Michigan State Police for having a sexual relationship considered inappropriate with a minor student. He was held without bond in the Osceola County Jail.

If convicted, Michigan sex crime defense attorneys have no doubt that Kullman will likely face severe punishment which includes life behind bars, mandatory STD testing and being required to register as a sex offender with the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.

Detective Sgt. Gary Green of the Michigan State Police Mount Pleasant post stated that the investigation began after receiving a complaint from a concerned parent. Kullman requested a leave of absence from his position as principal at the high school on May 29th, and was arrested on June 5th.

On August 2nd, Kullman was scheduled to go before Osceola County’s 77th District Court Judge Susan H. Grant regarding the charges, but waived his right to the preliminary exam. He is now headed for circuit court as his case has been bound over to Osceola County’s 49th Circuit Court. Kullman remains at the Osceola County Jail as his court hearings and trial dates have not yet been determined. The 45-year-old defendant submitted his resignation to the school board which was accepted at a meeting on June 28th.

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Michael Branch, a registered sex offender and former student at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, is suing the college after being kicked out when school administrators discovered he was listed on the state’s sex offender registry. Branch attended the college in spring and fall of 2010 and in the fall of 2011. He was midway through the winter semester on his way to earning an HVAC degree when he was advised that effective immediately, he could not continue his enrollment.

Michigan sex crime defense lawyers understand the obstacles those labeled as sex offenders face. Most sex offenders have difficulty obtaining employment and housing; they may also be ordered to stay certain distances away from colleges, daycares and other locations where children or young people are present.

Branch was convicted on a sex offense charge in 2004 when he had what he described as “consensual intercourse” with a girl he believed to be 19 years old, although it was discovered she was actually 15. Because of that conviction, Branch was required to register as a sex offender for life. He was paroled in 2010, and according to reports his parole officer was aware that he was attending HFCC. Branch had achieved a 3.7 grade point average during the two full semesters he attended, and had perfect attendance.

Lisa Jones Harris, vice president of student affairs at Henry Ford Community College, is named as co-defendant in the case brought by Branch and his attorney, Shaun Godwin. Harris made the decision to expel Branch, who is arguing that the school committed a breach of contract by not allowing him a hearing or to appeal the expulsion decision.

According to Harris, Branch should have disclosed the fact that he had been convicted of a sex offense. However, Branch’s suit argues that the application form provided by HFCC does not ask about this information; additionally, the suit claims the Student Code of Conduct does not address the issue. In the lawsuit, Branch seeks monetary damages and to have his enrollment reinstated at the college.

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This past week Governor Rick Snyder signed three bills affecting the potential penalties and consequences for individuals found guilty of criminal sexual conduct. Because potential punishments if you have been convicted of a Michigan sex crime may have a long-lasting impact on your future, it is important to contact an aggressive Michigan sex crime lawyer as soon as possible. If you are under investigation for or have been charged with a sex crimes, you need an experienced Michigan sex crimes defense law firm immediately to begin preparing your defense and protecting your future.

The three bills address punishment for various different levels of criminal sexual conduct by health care professional. Criminal sexual conduct refers to a variety of sexual crimes including rape, statutory rape and child molestation that are categorized into four degrees. First degree CSC is often referred to by lay people as “rape,” and involves some form of penetration. Second degree CSC involves touching an intimate body party without penetration. Third degree CSC involves penetration and may be referred to by lay people as “statutory rape.” Fourth degree CSC involves sexual touching of an intimate body part.

The first bill – House Bill 4411– amends MCL 333.16245 and provides that medical licenses and registration can be permanently revoked for health care professionals convicted of first degree sexual misconduct, second degree criminal sexual conduct, or third degree sexual misconduct. Previously, an individual whose license was revoked after a conviction for a CSC was able to see reinstatement five years later. However, if a person has been convicted of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct or intent to commit a first, second of third degree CSC, they may be able to seek license reinstatement after five years.

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A Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that new testimony may be heard in the sexual assault case of Lorinda Swain. Swain is seeking a new trial on sexual assault charges after being convicted by a jury in 2002 of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving her son. Criminal sexual conduct is a generic term referring to a group of sexual crimes including rape, sexual assault, statutory rape and child molestation. Each degree of criminal sexual conduct offense carries with it different penalties, with first degree being the most serious.

Since her conviction in 2002, Swain has sought to overturn her conviction after discovering new evidence not raised at trial. This past week, a three-judge panel found that lawyers from the University of Michigan’s Innocence Clinic should be allowed to present this additional evidence to Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge Conrad Sindt.

Sex crimes charges are serious, and a conviction for criminal sexual conduct can have a significant impact on your future and your freedom. If you have been charged with a Michigan sex crime, it is important to speak with an aggressive Michigan sex crimes defense attorney immediately to begin preparing your defense. Where you have been convicted of a sex crime, a Michigan sex crimes appeals attorney can determine whether appealable issues exists and review the trial record to ensure your side of the case was fully and effectively presented before the jury and weaknesses properly exposed.

Here, several issues were raised on appeal – including the discovery of new, exculpatory evidence.

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