Earlier this week the Michigan Court of Appeals determined that a Tipton man should receive a new sentence in a Lenawee County child sex abuse case. The criminal sexual conduct case involves a grandfather – Delmar Lee Toth – who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2010 following a non-jury trial. Judge Timothy Pickard sentenced the man to four life terms for first-degree criminal sexual conduct. However, this sentence exceeded Michigan state sentencing guidelines. Toth filed a sex crime appeal and the court determined that some errors were made.
If you or someone you know has been convicted of a sex crime or has accepted a plea agreement that seemed unfair, you may want to seek appellate review. It’s important to seek the advice of an aggressive Michigan sex crime appeals attorney at once if you believe you did not receive a fair trial – either due to overzealous prosecutors and judges who overstep their legal authority, or from inadequate legal representation that amounted to ineffective assistance of counsel. Whatever the appellate issue, it’s critical to talk to a knowledgeable sex crimes appeals attorney to give you a second chance at securing justice.
Under Michigan law, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree is a felony; consecutive terms. MCL Sec. 520b provides:
(1) A person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree if he or she engages in sexual penetration with another person and if any of the following circumstances exists:
(a) That other person is under 13 years of age.
The alleged victim in this case was a 6-year-old girl.
Here, the court of appeals evaluated several issues relating to Toth’s sentence including whether improper testimony was allowed at trial, judicial bias and whether the court held Toth’s silence against him. Each of these issues may be grounds for challenging the trial court’s finding.
The appellate court also reviewed the court’s factoring in Toth’s lack of remorse as a reason to exceed the guidelines, and noted that the failure to show remorse is not a proper reason to go beyond the guidelines.
However, Toth’s history as a recidivist pedophile and prior offenses for predatory conduct could figure in the sentencing. As the result of several potential errors in sentencing, the Court of Appeals sent the case back to the Lenawee County Circuit Court for resentencing.
For more information about Michigan sex crimes appeals, or if you have been charged with any Michigan sex crime, contact a top Michigan sex crimes attorney at Grabel & Associates for an immediate consultation.