Michigan Criminal Law: Sex Crimes; Sexual Conduct Charges, “CSC’s” Criminal Sexual Conduct Third Degree

Michigan law prohibits certain types of behavior related to sexual activity. These series of laws are collectively known as “criminal sexual conduct” or CSC charges. The charges vary significantly depending upon the alleged conduct.

These charges may fall various different sections; however the “criminal sexual conduct” section of Michigan’s penal code, MCL 750.520-520n is fairly comprehensive. Penalties if convicted depend on the alleged conduct and range from misdemeanors to capitol charges. Further, charges under this code may also require registration pursuant to SORA; see MCL 750.520b (2)(a-d);(Sex Offender Registration Act, MCL 295.723 et. seq.) and up to lifetime monitoring.

Sexual Conduct Third Degree, MCL 750.520d is factually similar charge to Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree; however, it has a few important distinguishing characteristics which make the penalties if convicted less severe than the capital charge, Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree. Convictions for this charge may include up to fifteen years in prison, assuming the alleged defendant is not charged as a habitual offender, SORA registration, and other penalties; however, lifetime monitoring is not expressly included under this charge. See MCL 750.520d (2).

The statute reads as follows:

(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 other person 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 victim is mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.

(d) That other person 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 other person 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 other person 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 subparagraph does not apply if the other person 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 other person 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 other person.

(f) That other person 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 other person receives the special education services. This subparagraph 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 other person.

(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 other person is a resident, that other person is at least 16 years of age, and the sexual penetration occurs during that other person’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.

As noted above, factually, charges for Criminal Sexual Conduct, Third Degree, may be very similar to charges for Criminal Sexual Conduct, First Degree. However, there are a few key differences.

Most notably, any alleged sexual penetration with an alleged victim between the ages of thirteen and sixteen falls under this charge because an alleged minor in this age range may not provide consent. In contrast, charges for Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree are only applicable to alleged victims in this age range if the alleged act falls into the categories listed in MCL 750.520b (1)(a,b-vi).

For more information on Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct charges, click here.

For more information on Michigan’s Criminal Sexual Conduct, First Degree charge, click here.

For more information on Michigan’s Criminal Sexual Conduct, Second Degree charge, click here.

For more information on Michigan’s Criminal Sexual Conduct, Fourth Degree charge, click here.

For information on polygraph tests, click here.
For information on Michigan’s charge, “Gross Indecency,” click here.
For information on Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act, or “SORA,” click here.

Our experienced and dedicated attorneys have represented clients regarding a variety of CSC charges throughout the state of Michigan. We fight hard for our clients. For a free initial consultation, please call our Lansing office at (517) 507-5077.

The following series of posts is for general educational purposes only. Circumstances may vary significantly. If you need specific legal advice, please privately consult with a lawyer.