Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) is an incredibly serious offense. A conviction of First Degree CSC carries with it a maximum penalty of life or any term of years in prison. MCL 750.520b. When the defendant is at least 17 years old and the victim is less than 13 years old the statutory minimum sentence is 25 years of age. If the defendant has had a previous CSC conviction, that sentence is elevated to life without the possibility of parole.
A person can be convicted of First Degree CSC if that person engages in sexual penetration (as opposed to contact) and:
- The victim is less than 13 years of age.
- The victim is between 13 and 16 years of age and
- Is a member of the same household
- Is a blood or legal relative
- Was coerced into submission due to the defendant’s position of authority over the victim;
- Was enrolled in a school district or non-public school where the defendant was a teacher, substitute teacher, or administrator;
- Was enrolled in a school district or non-public school where the defendant was an employee or service provider who used his or her status to gain access to the victim;
- The act was part of the commission of any other felony;
- The defendant aided or abetted another in committing the act and
- Knew the victim was mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless;
- Used force or coercion to accomplish sexual penetration;
- The defendant was armed with a weapon;
- The defendant injured the victim and used force or coercion to accomplish sexual penetration;
- The defendant injured the victim who he knew or should have known was mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless;
- The victim was mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, and
- The Defendant was a blood or legal relative;
- The Defendant used a position of authority to coerce the victim to submit.
The penalties for this offense do not end with prison. The Michigan Court of Appeals recently held that any conviction of First Degree CSC carries with it the penalty of lifetime electronic monitoring under MCL 750.520n. That section provides:
“A person convicted under section 520b [First Degree CSC] or 520c [Second Degree CSC] for criminal sexual conduct committed by an individual 17 years old or older against an individual less than 13 years of age shall be sentenced to lifetime electronic monitoring. . .”
However, under the Court of Appeals’ reading of the First Degree CSC statute, “regardless of the defendant’s and the victim’s age, MCL 750.520b(2) requires lifetime electronic monitoring for first-degree criminal sexual conduct offenses where the defendant has not been sentenced to life in prison without parole.” (Emphasis in original). Thus, the court expanded the electronic monitoring requirements of MCL 750.520n to include any First Degree CSC, even when the victim was over 13 years old.
It should not be forgotten that a conviction of First Degree CSC also requires a defendant to be registered on the state wide Sex Offender Registry for life unless the victim was between 13 and 16 years old and consented to sexual penetration with a defendant no more than 4 years older than him or her. This can have serious affects on where the defendant can live and work, as well as place a significant social stigma on him or her.
First Degree CSC is an exceptionally serious charge. However, there are defenses available. If you know someone facing these sort of allegations, have them contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Otherwise they could be facing a long time in prison, and a lifetime of sex offender registry and electronic monitoring.
* Please note: Every case is different, and there may be some aspect of your particular case which may result in an outcome other than is described above. This post is not intended as legal advice and may not apply to your particular case. It is always best to contact our office for a consultation if you have been or believe you may be charged with a crime.