Ann Arbor man opts for plea deal, avoids criminal trial

Sometimes a decision that a person makes in their personal life happens to be against the law. Not all sex crimes charges are based on force or coercion - some are based simply on the difference in age of the consensual participants in a sex act. An Ann Arbor man found this out recently, when he pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal sexual conduct.According to the reports, the initial allegations arose after the 23-year-old man was said to have lit a fire in the elevator of a parking structure. It was subsequently determined that the man had previously had sex with a 14-year-old girl in that same elevator. All of this allegedly occurred on July 22 of last year.To make matters worse, this man was also facing an arson charge for the fire, as well as larceny charges connected to thefts from some of the vehicles parked in the structure. The man agreed to plead guilty to the arson charge in addition to the sex crimes, and in return the larceny charge was dropped. His sentencing hearing will take place on March 14, and under the terms of the plea agreement he will receive a prison sentence lasting between 34 and 67 months in total.In some cases, especially sex crimes cases, pursuing a plea agreement can be the best defensive strategy. People who face a sexual assault charge are likely to encounter an aggressive prosecution, and a plea deal is one means by which the potential penalties involved in the case can be reduced. However, for those who believe they are facing false accusations or otherwise have a sound defense, taking the case to a criminal trial can be the best option. In either case, having a thorough assessment of all possible options as soon as possible can help with a swift resolution on the strategy to be pursued.Source: Ann Arbor.com, "Ann Arbor man accused of having sex with girl in elevator before lighting it on fire takes plea deal," John Counts, Feb. 23, 2013
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