On Thursday, September 25, 42-year-old Thomas P. Skulley was arraigned on charges of sexually assaulting a teenage girl who is his relative in Saginaw County in 2007. Skulley pleaded not guilty to a single charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against a relative. He posted a 10 percent of $35,000 bond ordered by Saginaw County District Judge M.T. Thompson.
The arrest warrant alleges that Skulley sexually assaulted a female relative in January of 2007, and that the girl was between the ages of 13 and 16 at the time of the assault. First-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious of all sex crimes, and punished by a maximum term of life in prison.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled before District Judge Kyle Higgs Tarrant for October 6.
Under Michigan Penal Code 750-520b, first-degree CSC involves sexual penetration, along with other specific conditions. In this case, the defendant allegedly committed sexual penetration with a victim who is between 13 and 16 and a relative (blood or affinity to 4th degree). Depending on the facts of the case, the defendant’s attorney may advise Skulley to go forward to trial, or try to work a plea deal with prosecutors. In many cases, a defendant may plead no contest or guilty to lesser charges, which typically results in less severe criminal penalties.
In cases involving minors who are relatives, it is often difficult to determine if the allegations are true. Children or teens may be coerced or persuaded by other adults to make up stories that are not true, sometimes out of spite or revenge. If the evidence presented at trial is weak or non-existent, it can be difficult to find a defendant guilty based on testimony alone.
Regardless of the situation, anyone who is accused of sexual assault must consult with an experienced and aggressive Michigan sex crime attorney immediately. Your defense lawyer will investigate and examine your case to determine the best way to proceed, so that positive results may be reached. Without a qualified attorney on your side, charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct could leave you facing a lifetime behind bars.