In February we wrote about Geoffrey Friant, a Leoni Township man who had been charged with eleven counts of criminal sexual conduct. Friant was a registered sex offender when he was charged with abusing boys who were younger than 16. Now, Friant has been sentenced to 30 to 80 years in prison by Jackson County Circuit Judge John McBain, according to a news article at Mlive.com.
McBain told Friant who is 55 years old at the sentencing hearing that he is a “serial predator.” Friant has allegedly been sexually abusing boys since 1979. On Wednesday November 6, the judge handed down the sentence which will leave Friant spending a minimum of 30 years in prison; it was his third sexual offense in just over 30 years.
Friant requires an oxygen tank due to failing health. Judge McBain, noting that the defendant will be 85 years old before he is eligible for parole, made the remark “If you even live that long.”
While it is suspected that Friant had many victims over the years, he pleaded guilty in September of last year to assaulting two brothers when the boys were 9 and 11 years old. Prior to pleading to the charges, Friant had been charged with the sexual assault of four boys according to Kati Rezmierski, Chief Assistant Prosecutor. Rezmierski went on to say that she did not believe there was any young man who had crossed Friant’s path without being sexually molested.
News reports indicate that children would go to the defendant’s home to hang out, where they would drink, smoke, and engage in rebellious behaviors. Many of the children led troubled lives, coming to Friant’s home to seek refuge. Friant apologized to the victims in court, asking for their forgiveness and saying that he should have sought help and used good judgment.
Sex crimes are some of the most harshly punished in Michigan. First-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious sex offense, leaving the accused individual facing potential life in prison if convicted. While there is no doubt that sex crimes are rampant and occur every day across the country, it is also a fact that there are many innocent people behind bars serving time for crimes they did not commit.
When accused of rape, sexual assault, child molestation, or any sex-related offense, it is critical to obtain the legal guidance and support of an experienced Michigan sex crime defense attorney immediately. Your freedom, reputation, and future are at stake without effective and aggressive legal counsel.