In Michigan, the law provides that a number of different types of conduct can lead to a person's conviction for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Although a misdemeanor, a conviction can result in the person's being placed on the sex offender registry in addition to possible incarceration and other consequences.
People can be convicted of the offense if the person with whom they had sexual contact was between the ages of 13 and 16, and the defendant was five or more years older. Other situations can include sexual contact between a teacher and student, a mental health professional and patient, a medical examiner and patient, any person and one who is mentally disabled or incapacitated or when the contact was obtained through concealment, threat, coercion, surprise or intimidation.
Other situations that amount to criminal sexual conduct include sexual contact between special education students who are between the ages of 16 and 26 and their teacher or service provider. Another act that is forbidden under this statute is sexual contact between a foster parent or group home worker with a child who is 16 or older. For any offense under the statute, the possible punishment includes up to two years of incarceration and a $500 fine.
When allegations are lodged against a person for criminal sexual conduct, the potential repercussions can be serious. People can face job loss, sex offender registration, difficulties obtaining housing and significant stigma. People who have professional licenses may lose them as a result of a conviction. When people are accused of a sex offense, it is often important for them to seek the help of a criminal defense attorney who accepts sex offense cases. An attorney can help his or her client fight the charges by going to trial or to possible secure a non-sex offense plea, depending on the circumstances. No matter what the charge, people accused of crimes have constitutional rights to defend themselves.
Source: The Michigan Legislature Website, "750.520e Criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree; misdemeanor.", November 07, 2014