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Information on crimes that are commonly charged in Michigan. If you need legal assistance, please contact a lawyer.

 

Criminal Sexual Conduct (3rd Degree)

Statute: MCL 750.520d
Crime Group: Person
Sentence Class: B
Minimum Sentence: 0 Months
Maximum Sentence1: 180 Months (15 Years)
Maximum Fine: Not Specified
Jury Instructions: MCJI2d. 20.1, 20.2, 20.12, 20.13
Sex Offender Registration Required: Varies

Statutory Language:

(1) A person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree if the person engages in sexual penetration with another person and if any of the following circumstances exist:

  a. That alleged victim is at least 13 years of age and under 16 years of age.

  b. Force or coercion is used to accomplish the sexual penetration. Force or coercion includes but is not limited to any of the circumstances listed in section 520b(1)(f)(i) to (v).

  c. The actor knows or has reason to know that the complainant is mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.

  d. That alleged victim is related to the actor by blood or affinity to the third degree and the sexual penetration occurs under circumstances not otherwise prohibited by this chapter. It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this subdivision that the alleged victim was in a position of authority over the defendant and used this authority to coerce the defendant to violate this subdivision. The defendant has the burden of proving this defense by a preponderance of the evidence. This subdivision does not apply if both persons are lawfully married to each other at the time of the alleged violation.

  e. That alleged victim is at least 16 years of age but less than 18 years of age and a student at a public school or nonpublic school, and either of the following applies:
      i. The actor is a teacher, substitute teacher, or administrator of that public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district. This sub-paragraph does not apply if the alleged victim is emancipated or if both persons are lawfully married to each other at the time of the alleged violation.
      ii. The actor is an employee or a contractual service provider of the public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district in which that alleged victim is enrolled, or is a volunteer who is not a student in any public school or nonpublic school, or is an employee of this state or of a local unit of government of this state or of the United States assigned to provide any service to that public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district, and the actor uses his or her employee, contractual, or volunteer status to gain access to, or to establish a relationship with, that alleged victim.

  f. That alleged victim is at least 16 years old but less than 26 years of age and is receiving special education services, and either of the following applies:
      i. The actor is a teacher, substitute teacher, administrator, employee, or contractual service provider of the public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district from which that alleged victim receives the special education services. This sub-paragraph does not apply if both persons are lawfully married to each other at the time of the alleged violation.
      ii. The actor is a volunteer who is not a student in any public school or nonpublic school, or is an employee of this state or of a local unit of government of this state or of the United States assigned to provide any service to that public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district, and the actor uses his or her employee, contractual, or volunteer status to gain access to, or to establish a relationship with, that alleged victim.

  g. The actor is an employee, contractual service provider, or volunteer of a child care organization, or a person licensed to operate a foster family home or a foster family group home, in which that alleged victim is a resident, that alleged victim is at least 16 years of age, and the sexual penetration occurs during that alleged victim’s residency. As used in this subdivision, “child care organization”, “foster family home”, and “foster family group home” mean those terms as defined in section 1 of 1973 PA 116, MCL 722.111.

[…]

 

Criminal Sexual Conduct Topics

Discussion:

Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 3rd degree is one of a number of criminal sexual conduct crimes codified into Michigan law. It is similar to CSC 4th degree, but with the added element of “penetration” instead of “contact”. It covers a variety of circumstances where a sexual penetration occurred without actual consent, or where the alleged victim is unable to legally consent due to age, disability, or a relationship involving authority. It also covers traditional “incest” crimes and “statutory rape”. It includes the essentially the same circumstances as CSC 4th degree, but adds or alters some of the circumstances:

  1. The alleged victim is between the ages of 13 and 16 years old (there is no requirement for a five-year-gap between the ages of the defendant and the alleged victim, as in CSC 4th);
     
  2. Force or coercion was used to accomplish the sexual contact (see statute for examples of force or coercion);
     
  3. The defendant knew or had reason to know the person being touched was mentally or physically helpless;
     
  4. The defendant is related to the alleged victim by blood or marriage by the 3rd degree;
     
  5. The defendant is a mental health professional and the contact occurs during or within two years after the alleged victim is a client or patient;
     
  6. The alleged victim is between 16 and 18 years old and a student where the defendant is a teacher, administrator, employee, or contractual service provider of the school;
     
  7. The alleged victim is between 16 and 18 years old (dropped from 26 years old in CSC 4th), receiving special education services, and the defendant is in a position of authority;
     
  8. The defendant is an employee, contractual service provider, or volunteer of a child care organization, or a person licensed to operate a foster family home or a foster family group home, in which the alleged victim is a resident (note that the 16 year age limit under CSC 4th does not apply).

For a conviction under CSC 3rd degree, the maximum penalty is 15 years in prison1. The defendant will also likely be required to register pursuant to SORA. Usually, Tier 3 registration is required, but there are circumstances where this is not the case. For instance, SORA registry is not required if the court determines that the alleged victim was at least 13 to 16 years old, had consented to the conduct, and the defendant is not more than four years older that the alleged victim. (See “Sex Offender Registration Act”.)

 

1Maximum sentence shown is for a first-time felony offender. Prior felonies make a defendant liable for “Habitual Offender” (“HO”) sentencing enhancement. This type of sentencing enhancement greatly increases the maximum amount of time a defendant convicted of this crime can spend in prison.

 

 

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