In July of this year, 39-year-old Miguel Rapin of Saginaw Township was charged with sexually assaulting a young female relative between August and September of 2012. Rapin waived his right to a preliminary hearing on July 23, and was bound over to Circuit Court. He was initially charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against a relative, and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct against a relative.
In October, Rapin agreed to plead no contest to two counts of fourth-degree CSC in exchange for prosecutors dropping the first- and second-degree charges. In doing so, he escaped serving prison time. First-degree criminal sexual conduct is punishable by up to life in prison.
Christopher Boyd, Saginaw County Chief Assistant Prosecutor, said that it was decided the office would offer Rapin a plea deal after the alleged victim’s testimony in Family Court contradicted statements she had made to police earlier. Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson indicated following a Cobbs hearing that if the defendant would plead to the fourth-degree counts, he would be given a sentence which included wearing a tether and probation. Rapin was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to wear a tether for six months.
While all sexual assault cases are complex, those involving relatives can be particularly complicated. As indicated in this case, it is not unusual for an alleged victim to change his or her story. News reports did not reveal the difference in what the victim initially told police, and what was said in her testimony. While it is not always a good decision to accept a plea offer from prosecutors, in some instances it is to a defendant’s advantage.
Only a skilled Michigan sex crime attorney can help you determine whether it is best to plead not guilty when charged with a sex-related offense. In some situations, it may be possible to avoid charges altogether if you work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in those first critical days. Regardless of the situation, always consult with a highly qualified attorney to ensure your legal rights and freedom are protected.