MCOA Remands a Sexual Delinquency Conviction to the Trial Court

Defendants facing sexually delinquent person allegations have an uphill battle right from the beginning.

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A sexually delinquent person is defined by MCL 750.10 as any person whose sexual behavior is characterized by any of the following: repetitive or compulsive acts which indicate a disregard of consequences or the recognized rights of others; the use of force upon another person in attempting sex relations of either a heterosexual or homosexual nature; or the commission of sexual aggressions against children under 16 years. . Sexual delinquency can only be charged in conjunction with the charges of Gross Indecency (MCL 750.338; MCL 750.338a; MCL 750.338b), Crime Against Nature (MCL 750.158), or Indecent Exposure (MCL 750.335a). Defendants facing sexually delinquent person allegations might feel the presumption of innocence doesn’t apply to them because judges and prosecutors are biased in these cases.

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People v. Franklin

In People v. Franklin, the defendant entered a plea of nolo contendere to aggravated indecent exposure and indecent exposure. The defendant was sentenced as a habitual fourth offender. The court sentenced him to 34 months to 15 years in prison for the aggravated indecent exposure and 1 day to life in prison for the indecent exposure under sexual deviant charge, MCL 750.335a(2)(c). The Michigan Court of Appeals vacated his convictions for indecent exposure and sexual delinquency.

The Court held that the trial court erred by sentencing the defendant as a sexually delinquent person because it failed to hold a separate hearing to establish whether the sexual deviant allegations were true, regardless of his plea subjecting him to sentencing as such. The Court remanded the case with instructions to conduct a hearing on this matter. The Court further held that the defendant’s convictions of aggravated indecent exposure and indecent exposure violated his double jeopardy rights.

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The Court reasoned that the two counts were the same offense, with aggravated indecent exposure merely requiring additional proof of the person’s conduct. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction for aggravated indecent exposure was affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals; however, they vacated the lesser conviction of indecent exposure so that he was not charged for the same offense twice.

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