At an arraignment hearing on November 12, 61-year-old John J. Barrera, a convicted sex offender, entered a plea of not guilty in the alleged sexual assault of a girl younger than age 13 in Saginaw. The sexual assault allegedly occurred from January 2010 through August of this year, according to a news article at Mlive.com.
Barrera was convicted of criminal sexual conduct 20 years ago, and is facing current charges which include one count of first-degree CSC and one count of second-degree CSC.
In 1992 Barrera was convicted of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in Ottawa County. Because of his status as a repeat offender, prosecutors charged him as a second-time felonious sexual offender. This ultimately results in a minimum sentence of five years in prison if convicted of the current charges. However, the mandatory minimum sentence if found guilty of first-degree CSC against someone under the age of 13 is 25 years in prison.
Saginaw County Chief District Judge M. Randall Jurrens entered the not guilty plea on Barrera’s behalf; he is currently in jail being held without bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 21.
Regardless of whether Barrera is sentenced to 25 years or life in prison if convicted, he will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars considering his age. In Michigan, sex crimes are considered some of the most serious of all, and punished harshly. Not only are the penalties severe, those convicted will face a lifetime stigma, particularly when required to register as a sex offender. Sex offender status impacts various aspects of an individual’s life including employment, where that person may life, and more.
If you have been accused of rape, sexual assault, or any sex-related offense, consult with a skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crimes defense attorney immediately. Swift action must be taken to protect your legal rights and freedom.