Articles Posted in Sex Crimes

If someone calls the police to report a rape case in Michigan, it will immediately be taken very seriously. Police have a duty to thoroughly investigate claims of rape, known as “Criminal Sexual Conduct,” under Michigan law. If you’re being accused of rape, an experienced Michigan rape attorney will be able to take some of the unknown out of the situation and advise as to what will happen next and the best steps to take to avoid a criminal sexual conduct charge being filed.

Police Will First Meet with the Accuser

After the initial call to the police, the case will be assigned to a detective with sex crimes investigative training and experience. The detective will ask the accuser to meet- usually at the accuser’s home or at the police department- to discuss the claim in person. The detective will want to obtain the “who, what, where, and when” of the claim. Who did it? Who else was there? What exactly happened? Where did it happen? When did it happen?

Pornography has never been easier to access. Anyone with a smart phone can readily obtain all kinds of pornography. While porn sites are often clearly named, such as Pornhub, other platforms containing pornographic images are less obvious and include many kinds of social media, such as such common apps like Tumblr and Instagram, various chat groups like Kik, and video sharing sites like BitTorrent.  Regardless of the means used to access pornography one thing remains constant. No matter how careful a person in when trying to cover up their digital footprint, chances are a good forensic analyst will be able to uncover that which is meant to stay private.

Child pornography is always illegal to receive, possess, distribute, or manufacture.  Many people believe that if they delete images on their phone or computer, these images are really deleted. However, simply hitting delete rarely actually destroys the evidence. If this were true, then nearly all child pornography cases would be based on destroyed evidence.  One place such deleted images may reside is in a computer’s cache or temporary memory.

What is a cache?

Sex crime allegations in Michigan are taken very seriously by law enforcement. Due to the specialized nature of these cases many police departments have officers and detectives with in depth training specific to the investigation of sex crime cases. The same is true for lawyers who work with the police departs to prosecute sex crime cases. In fact, many of the larger counties have specific teams of prosecutors who exclusively handle sex crimes cases. For example, the Wayne County Prosecutor has the Sexual Assault Team, and the Oakland County Prosecutor has the Special Victim Section (SVS).

On the west side of Michigan, Kent County does not have a specially named division in the prosecutor’s office, but that office does designate a few attorneys within the office to handle most of the sex crimes cases in the county.

To combat these highly specialized sex crime teams at the various prosecuting attorney’s offices throughout the State of Michigan, the Barone Defense Firm has assembled a team of sex crimes lawyers to go head to head with the prosecutors.

Recently, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency completed a sweep that lead to arrests of 24 people in Michigan convicted of various crimes. It is no secret that the Trump administration has taken a tough stance on immigration. As a result, there has been a focus by the Trump administration on deporting non-citizens with certain kinds of criminal convictions.

What kinds of convictions can lead to deportation?

Federal law says that a non-citizen can be deported for conviction of a “crime of moral turpitude” or an “aggravated felony.” A crime of moral turpitude is one that involves a depraved or immoral act, or a violation of the basic duties owed to fellow man, or a “reprehensible act” with a mens rea of at least recklessness. In practice, this means crimes involving fraud, intentional serious injury, intentional death, destruction of property, malicious destruction of property, and intentional permanent taking of valuable property are deportable. This, of course, encompasses many possible crimes.

A Michigan chef has been accused of domestic violence by at least 7 different women, the Detroit News has reported. The Macomb County prosecuting attorney has charged him in at least one case involving his former wife.

According to Michigan domestic violence lawyers at the Barone Defense Firm, the term “domestic violence” refers to a specific kind of assault and/or battery; one where the accused has or had a domestic relationship or dating relationship of some kind with the alleged victim. Specifically, the applicable Michigan Compiled Laws section 750.81 provides that a domestic violence occurs when an individual assaults or assaults and batters any of the following:

  • Someone to whom they are or were married,

Generally speaking, Romeo and Juliet laws were developed to prevent or lessen prosecution of a young adult engaged in consensual sexual activity with a minor. For example, some Romeo and Juliet laws would prevent an 18-year-old from being prosecuted for statutory rape for having consensual sex with a 15-year-old. So, what is Michigan’s Romeo and Juliet law?

What is Michigan’s Age of Consent?

To understand Michigan’s Romeo and Juliet law, a basic understanding of Michigan age of consent law is helpful. The age at which a person can legally consent to sexual activity in Michigan is 16 years old. This means that anyone under the age of 16 does not have the legal capacity to consent to sexual activity.

Fear of the Covid 19 virus means more people are spending time at home, often alone, in front of their phones or computers. Unfortunately, some of those people are sexual predators looking for their next sex crimes victim. According to news sources, this means that the risk of sexual predators finding victims is also increased.

How are Sexual Predators Finding their Victims?

Sexual predators use various tactics to gain access to and communicate with their targets online. One of the biggest threats comes from communicating with potential victims through apps and sites that children and young adults use most frequently- YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook. Once a predator is connected to a potential victim, some purport to be someone else by using a profile picture that looks like someone the same age as the victim. Once a predator is connected to a victim, the predator usually aims to elicit sexual photos from the victim and, potentially, meet the victim in person.

What is the Sex Offenders Registration Act?

The Sex Offenders Registration Act is known as SORA.  SORA was enacted pursuant to the legislature’s exercise of police power of the state.  Its intent is to monitor persons that are believed to pose a potential danger to the people of the state. Sora is a database that contains the names and addresses of individuals convicted of certain sex crimes. In Michigan, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is the agency established by the Act to be the keeper of the registry and repository.  The Michigan State Police local posts, and other local county and city/township law enforcement agencies, serve as the locations for the offender to register.  The frequency of reporting, the number of years of reporting, and whether the information is public or private, is dependent upon the type of conviction for the offender and is categorized by Tiers.

What are Tiers?

In Michigan, sex crime offenses are categorized into three Tiers.  Tier 1 is the least serious, and Tier 3 is the most serious.  The more serious the offense, the more frequent and longer the individual is required to report/register.

Tier 1 applies to a person convicted of a crime that results in a Tier I offender status and this offender is required to register and verify their information and residence in-person at their designated local law enforcement agency once per year for 15 years.  In some cases, they may only be required to Register for 10 years.

Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct, commonly referred to as CSC, is the unlawful sexual assault or touching or penetration of another. In Michigan, there are four separate offenses each defined by the acts of behaviors of the alleged offender. Each level of offense is called a “degree.” Within each of these degrees are multiple variables or legal theories that the state must prove in order to support the allegation.  Such variables may include the age of the victim, the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim, and whether force or coercion was used in the commission of the alleged crime.

Punishment for Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct

Because the various degrees of criminal sexual conduct are thought of as more or less serious, they also carry different penalties.

When Do I Need to Hire a Sex Crimes Attorney?

The short answer is – immediately.  When it comes to sex crimes in Michigan, you should never take a “wait and see” approach. Sex crimes are taken very seriously in Michigan and carry with them severe penalties including long periods of incarceration.

Plus, sex crimes investigations are often extensive and could take weeks or months before any official charges are authorized. Authorized means an official charge against you, which usually begins when the investigating officer submitting their findings or report to the county prosecutor to review and approve, or authorize.  If the prosecutor approves, the officer will then appear in court before a Judge or Magistrate and “swears to” a warrant for your arrest.  Once the Judge or Magistrate sign it, there will now be a Felony Arrest Warrant for you.

If you have done something that might make you susceptible to a Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) charge, or other sex crime or assault, if you are suspicious that someone may be making a complaint against you, and certainly if you have been contacted by police or law enforcement, you must consult and retain an experienced assault and sex crime attorney immediately.

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