Former Michigan Priest Charged With Multiple Counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct

January 30, 2015
by The Law Office of Steven L. Schwartz

Old Melbourne Gaol

Earlier this month in Jackson, Michigan, the state’s Attorney General charged a former priest with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and 10 counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for crimes that allegedly occurred between the years of 1980 and 1986.

According to one local news report, the man served as a Lumen Christi High School Priest, teacher, wrestling coach, and maintenance supervisor between the years of 1980 and 1986. Michigan police were investigating the man for several years before they discovered two additional alleged victims. Currently, the man is incarcerated in Oklahoma for crimes he committed in that state. Oklahoma has agreed to extradite the man so he can face the charges in Michigan.

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s department told reporters that “despite the age of this case, the lives of the victims continue to be impacted. It is my hope that the opportunity for victims to have their day in court will bring some degree of comfort.”

Statute of Limitations in Criminal Cases

The alleged crimes in the above case took place almost 30 years ago. However, the State of Michigan is still attempting to convict the man based on these events. For many crimes, there does come a time when the state can no longer bring charges. The statute that lists these timeframes is called the “statute of limitations.”

Statutes of limitations are different depending on the crime in questions. For example, most crimes have a six-year statute of limitations in Michigan. However, if the crime involved a sexual element, or the victim of the crime is a minor under the age of 18, the statute of limitations is 10 years. In cases of murder, there is no statute of limitations and the prosecution can bring the case as far into the future as it chooses.

Adjustments to Statute of Limitations in Some Sex Crime Cases

If a crime such as criminal sexual conduct involves DNA evidence, the statute of limitations can be extended. The prosecution then has 10 years from the date that the offender is identified by the DNA evidence to bring charges, or until the victim’s 21st birthday, whichever gives the state more time. This is how the man in the case described above is able to be charged so long after his alleged criminal acts.

In these types of serious cases, it is especially important to involve an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney to help fight the charges.

Have You Been Charged With Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan?

If you have recently been charged with criminal sexual conduct in the State of Michigan, you should ensure that you speak to a dedicated and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. The sooner your attorney is able to start working on your case, the better the chance he or she will be able to develop a strong and convincing defense. To set up a free initial consultation with a skilled defense attorney, call (240) 930-5019 today.

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