New Era man sentenced to 18-60 years in prison for molesting 12-year-old.

February 6, 2018

Richard Uhl

New Era man sentenced to 18-60 years in prison for molesting 12-year-old.

#MasonCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

LUDINGTON — A 35-year-old New Era man convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) and extortion was sentenced in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, Feb. 6, to serve 225 months (18.75 years) to 60 years in prison.

Richard Edward Uhl II, of 3104 W. Tonawanda Trail, must register as as a sex offender for the rest of his life and is subject to lifetime electronic monitoring.

Uhl molested a 12-year-old girl “more than 100 times” and terrorized her, threatening to hurt her, said Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola. “He victimized her over, and over, and over gain.”

Uhl comes from an abusive home life. His father molested him as a child beginning when he was 9 years old, Spaniola said. His father was convicted of CSC in 1998 in Oceana County, he said.

Although, Uhl doesn’t have “a significant criminal history,” his actions that he engaged in are “heinous,” the prosecutor said. “He deserves a severe sentence from this court.”

“You are worthless piece of trash, and I hope you get everything you deserve,” said the victim’s mother in a written statement read by Spaniola. “You thought your dad was bad — you’re just like him, just much worse. You are below worthless. I hope you enjoy prison, because that is where you’re going to be for a long time. I hope they treat you like you treated (the victim.)”

“Mr. Uhl is accepting responsibility for his actions,” said his attorney Blaine Bowne. “He was in a black-out moment, under the grips of alcohol of drugs.”

“I really feel bad about all of this,” Bowne stated as he read a written statement from his client. “I really have bad nightmares because of this. I take full responsibility for what I did.”

Bowne said his client suffers from bipolar multi-personality disorder and was “self-medicating through drugs and alcohol.” He is now on prescription drugs for depression and night terrors.

“He’s finally being treated now that he entered the Mason County Jail,” the defense attorney said. “Mr. Uhl will continue to get treatment in prison.”

“I feel that I am slowly getting to be a better person now that I’m on medication,” Uhl said to Judge Susan K. Sniegowski, adding that he will continue with counseling for the rest of his life,.

“Your family background sheds some light, but it doesn’t provide any excuse for what you did,” Sniegowski said. “There is absolutely no justification for what you have done. It’s a horrendous crime.”

“It’s appropriate for you to spend a lot of time in prison,” the judge said.

Uhl was arrested on a warrant by the Mason County Sheriff’s Office last July following an investigation that began June 24 in the Village of Custer.

Uhl, who has been lodged in the Mason County Jail on a $100,000 cash/surety bond, received credit for 205 days served.

First-degree CSC is punishable by up to life in prison, and extortion carries a 20-year maximum.

Sentencing guidelines in the case are 171-285 months.

Sniegowski handed down a concurrent sentence to 84 months to 20 years for the extortion conviction.

This story is copyrighted © 2018, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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