Sex crimes are punished harshly in Michigan, and the stigma attached to those convicted of these offenses can be life-changing. Many people convicted of sex crimes are never again able to reclaim their normal lives. In addition to serving prison time, convicted sex offenders also have to register with the sex offender registry, which can affect their ability to find housing and employment.
Those convicted of committing a crime with the intent to engage in criminal sexual conduct also face harsh penalties. Michigan law makes it a felony to assault a person with the intent to engage in criminal sexual conduct.
If the defendant is found guilty of committing this crime with sexual penetration, then he or she may be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Those convicted of committing assault without sexual penetration, but with the intent to engage in sexual conduct, may be sentenced to prison for up to five years.
There are, of course, defenses available to those accused of committing these crimes. First of all, it must be proven that the defendant committed assault. Second, the prosecution must prove the defendant's intent with regard to sexual contact. These can both be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, especially if the circumstances of the incident can be drawn into question by a lack of evidence or lack of credibility. Thus, Michigan residents who have been accused of committing a sex crime may want to discuss their case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, who may be able to help them assess their defense options.
Source: Michigan Legislature, "Section 750.520g," accessed on Feb. 17, 2017