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LIVINGSTON COUNTY – A 19-year-old Livonia man will be spending a major portion of his life in state prison now that he has been sentenced to 10 years to life with the Department of Correctional Services on Tuesday morning for having sex acts performed on him by a 12-year-old girl while he was 18.
John Fleming, 19, lost at trial and was convicted of Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child, an A-II felony, one of the most severe sex charges in state law, in January. Fleming’s attorney, Marcea Clark Tetamore, head of the Public Defender’s Office, told the court that District Attorney Greg McCaffrey had overcharged Fleming, and that other sex charges would have been more appropriate.
“I believe this case was over-indicted,” said Tetamore. “I think the more appropriate charge is Criminal Sex Act in the First Degree. I think that the statute was used against him.”
“[Mr. Fleming] stands before you as someone who re-victimized a little girl when he rejected our generous offer to the minimum,” said DA McCaffrey to the court. “She had to appear before a court full of strangers at Grand Jury and later in this court and re-live her trauma. […] Mr. Fleming is a predator in the truest sense of the word and is a threat to this community. He is also a father and the mother of his child was underage at the time of conception. We ask for 10 years to life incarceration in state prison, the minimum.”
Judge Robert Wiggins said that he will be sentencing the minimum, and that he is limited in his sentencing options based on what the DA has chosen to charge.
“A lot of research has gone into this by us all,” said Judge Wiggins. “I will be sentencing to the minimum. The District Attorney’s Office can charge what they wish and you were convicted, and so the court is confined to legal parameters regarding sentence.”
Legal experts anticipate that since Fleming himself took the stand and tried to take back all of his clear confessions to Mount Morris Police, saying they were lies to get police investigators off his back, it will likely be many years past the 10-year minimum incarceration period that he makes parole and is released.
PHOTO CAPTION: (Photo/Livingston County Sheriff’s Office)