Sexually Delinquent Person and Prison for Life: What You Need to Know

Gavel and handcuffs depicting sexually delinquent person

Did you know there’s another sex offender label in the state of Michigan? Being labeled a sex offender and made to enter your name on the sex offender registry is terrible enough. In certain situations can also get you hit with the designation sexually delinquent person. This designation can result in up to life in prison.

Life in Prison for Exposure

In the summer of 2020, Gary Walling of Burton earned this designation for what he might have thought was conduct that couldn’t get him in much trouble. He would have been wrong.

Here’s what Walling allegedly did: he approached two girls at a closed splash pad and exposed his genitals to them. He subsequently had “physical contact” with them.

We know that what Walling allegedly did was limited to touching, as he was later charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct. His behavior was wrong and illegal but to be clear: he did not commit rape or a violent act. However, he still may be facing up to life in prison.

Sexually Delinquent Person Status

Why would Walling spend life in prison for a relatively non-violent crime?

Because of the sexually delinquent person label. Here’s how Michigan Statute MCL 750.10(a) defines a sexually delinquent person: 

“any person whose sexual behavior is characterized by repetitive or compulsive acts which indicate a disregard of consequences or the recognized rights of others, or by the use of force upon another person in attempting sex relations of either a heterosexual or homosexual nature, or by the commission of sexual aggressions against children under the age of 16.” 

Walling was charged with four separate charges:

  • Two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim younger than 13. Second-degree CSC may sound like a more serious sexual crime – like second-degree murder. However, it’s a less intrusive crime than third-degree CSC. As I said above, this crime is limited to unwanted physical touching. Second-degree CSC carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. 
  • A single count of aggravated indecent exposure. Aggravated indecent exposure is what’s called a high court misdemeanor. The penalty can be up to 2 years in prison and $2,000 in fines.
  • A single count of indecent exposure by a sexually delinquent person.

The sexual delinquency charge comes with a penalty of 1 day up to life in prison for someone convicted. Walling’s crime hit most of the descriptors for sexual delinquency: driven by compulsion, disregard for the rights of others or the consequences, the use of force, and perpetrated against children under 16.

Other Situations Where You May Be Labeled Sexually Delinquent

In another press release in 2019, a Saginaw, Michigan man was charged as a sexually delinquent person for similar conduct to Walling’s.

He Willie B. “Chico” Peterson had allegedly been approaching children waiting near bus stops and trying to grab them.  He had also exposed himself to two girls from his car.

However, is there another crime that could get you charged this way? 

Yes. If police investigate you and find that you have engaged in more than one unlawful or forceful act that is sexual in nature, you are more likely to be charged with sexual delinquency.

The charge becomes more likely if the victim or victims of the crime are minors, but it doesn’t have to be a violent crime, as we’ve seen. Sexually delinquent convictions will require you to register on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry, and you will be considered a Tier 1 sex offender.

Sexually Delinquent Person Charge – Aggressive Criminal Defense in Michigan

To avoid being designated as a sexually delinquent person, you need an aggressive attorney who will fight for you with expert testimony and witnesses to show that this behavior is not a pattern in your life.

Even if you don’t end up receiving a life sentence, the sexual delinquent label can severely disrupt the rest of your life.

Call my office today for your free initial consultation.

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