A Michigan man is facing up to 30 years in prison after repeatedly sexually assaulting a teenage relative of his for a number of years.
Douglas E. Sackrider, 45, was arrested in March and charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual assault and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, MLive reported. He pleaded guilty on June 15 to one count of first-degree CSC as part of a plea agreement.
Assistant Prosecutor Jeffrey Williams said Sackrider sexually assaulted a girl for several years; the abuse reportedly started when the girl was between the ages of 12 and 13.
Kalamazoo County Circuit Judge Gary C. Giguere Jr. sentenced Sackrider on Monday to a minimum of seven years in prison to a maximum of 30 years.
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“You’re a sick, sick man,” the judge told Sackrider in court. "You ruined your family, you've ruined your life, you've ruined the lives of generations from now."
The victim did not speak in court but she and her mother submitted written victim-impact statements for Giguere’s consideration. Williams said he was impressed with the girl’s courage and strength following Sackrider’s arrest, especially given the severity of his crimes.
"If there was ever a case that did not need any hyperbole ... it would be this one," Williams said.
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Sackrider’s attorney, Donald H. Smith, said that his client realized the pain he inflicted onto the young girl but added that he wasn’t sure Sackrider fully understood how he ended up before a judge on Monday.
"Evil's like a fungus and you don't realize what it is until it's there," Smith said. "At some point and time, my client believed a lie and he believed that something that was not OK was OK. He's going to make good use of his time (in prison) ... to figure out how that happened."
Sackrider apologized for his actions during his sentencing. He told the judge he was going to spend every day getting the help he needs to figure out what went wrong.
Giguere said Sackrider had only one prior misdemeanor on his record before his arrest in March. He added that Sackrider had a strong family and long employment history.
Still, the judge said there was no excuse for Sackrider’s “repulsive” acts.
"There are very few crimes that are consistent from society to society, generation to generation, that just remain so repulsive to the concepts of dignity and humanity," Giguere said. "This is one of those ... How that first step is ever taken and how it progresses to the level it progressed to in this case, I just don't get.
"It's just awful.”
Photo Credit: WWMT