In May of this year, 55-year-old Jerrold Craig Alexander of Benton Township pleaded guilty to five sex-related felony charges. Those charges included two counts of manufacturing child sexually abusive material, two counts of second-degree sexual conduct with a person under age 13, and one count of possessing child sexually abusive material. Because Alexander pleaded guilty to these counts, four others were dropped by prosecutors. The judge in the case sentenced Alexander to spend a minimum of 5 1/2 years in prison.
Those who are convicted on these types of charges often face severe penalties and are required to register as sex offenders, a punishment that negatively impacts the convicted individual’s life forever. Michigan child pornography defense attorneys know that in the majority of cases involving sexually abusive material, police may seize a computer and claim that illegal material has been found, although the individual accused may have no knowledge of images or files which have been downloaded.
According to news reports, investigators located abusive material on computers and thumb drives found in Cheboygan County and Mackinac Island in March of this year. The case against Alexander involved a girl in Cheboygan County under the age of 13. In May court proceedings, the accused detailed two incidents which took place in 2008 involving the girl, who said he videotaped the events. Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Department evidence technicians located the videos of the acts committed with the underage girl along with Internet child pornography on a computer and two USB drives belonging to the defendant.
Manufacturing child sexually abusive material is a 20-year felony charge; second-degree criminal sexual contact with an individual younger than 13 is a 15-year felony charge. The charge of possessing child sexually abusive material is a 4-year felony. Assistant Prosecutor Aaron Gauthier said that because Alexander pleaded guilty to the five charges, the victim would not be required to testify, and that the plea agreement was designed in a way that Alexander was sentenced just as he would have been had a jury convicted him on all counts.
Whether guilty or innocent, it is critical that individuals arrested for sex-related crimes consult with a Michigan sex crime defense attorney, who will work to protect your legal rights and have charges dismissed or reduced.