Recently, two Osceola County men were arrested following an investigation into sexual encounters with underage females which began in the fall of 2011. The two men, 61-year-old Herman Elston and 22-year-old Bryan Hill, were arraigned on Thursday, August 9th in Osceola County District Court in Reed City. A co-defendant in the case, Keldon Dennis, was arrested earlier in the summer. Elston and Hill, both from Evart, face a total of 14 felony criminal sexual conduct charges.
Michigan criminal sexual conduct defense lawyers know that charges are often filed against those who are innocent and falsely accused. The penalties those convicted face are harsh; in fact, depending on the degree of CSC, a convicted individual may spend life in prison. Those convicted must also register as a sex offender for a minimum of 25 years.
In this case, Michigan State Police allege that the two defendants had “multiple sexual encounters with several juvenile females.” Bryan Hill faces charges of 2 counts of first degree and 2 counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct. Elston was charged with 5 counts each of first and third degree CSC which according to the complaint involved three victims.
Hill is being held in Osceola County Jail on a $200,000 bond. Elston is also being held at the Osceola County Jail on a $1 million bond. Each first degree charge the two men face may be punished by life in prison if convicted, according to reports.
As of the time of news publications, the relationship between Hill, Elston and Dennis wasn’t clear and police were still investigating. According to state police additional arrests are expected. Preliminary exams for Elston and Hill are scheduled at Osceola County’s 77th District Court on August 23rd.
Being accused of a sex crime of any nature is serious business. Not only may you face substantial time or even life in prison, you will be required to register as a sex offender for a minimum of 25 years which will affect your career, reputation and ability to secure employment along with other areas of your life. If you or a loved one have been accused of or charged with an offense which is sexual in nature, consult with a skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crimes attorney right away.