Man sentenced to jail for child sexually-abusive material.

August 26, 2019

Robert Pierce and attorney Douglas Stevenson

Man sentenced to jail for child sexually-abusive material.

#MasonCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

LUDINGTON – A 22-year-old Ludington man was sentenced in 51st Circuit Court Monday, Aug. 26, to serve six months up front of a one-year discretionary jail term for a conviction of distributing/promoting child sexually-abusive material.

Robert Anthony Pierce, of 210 N. Gaylord St., pleaded “no contest” to the charge last May.

Pierce’s cell phone contained video recordings of him engaging in sexual activity with a 16-year-old girl, said Judge Susan K. Sniegowski.

Pierce was sentenced to five years probation and will have to register as a sex offender, said Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola.

“It was consensual by a person of age,” said Pierce’s attorney, Douglas Stevenson.

It’s an arguable question whether it was forced or not,” said Judge Susan K. Sniegowski. “But under the age of 18 images, by law, constitute child sexually-abusive material.

“This is an interesting question. If she were a willing participant in this activity, there is no crime in the sexual activity,” Sniegowski said. At the age of 16, the victim can consent to sexual activity, but she can’t consent to video of the sexual activity.”

“You can’t videotape someone under the age of 18 even if they consent to sexual conduct.

“It’s very disturbing reading the transcripts of this video, Mr. Pierce. You made a choice to video yourself engaged in sexual conduct. It was discovered by the young girl’s parents on her cell phone. It’s wrong on so many levels. A lot of drug use was involved.”

Pierce has no prior criminal record, although he has a pending shoplifting case in Saginaw County, Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola said.

“The defendant has continued to try make contact with the victim despite an injunctive order,” Spaniola said.

Sentencing guidelines in the case are 0-9 months, said Judge Sniegowski.

Pierce, who received credit for 80 days served in jail, was also ordered to have no contact with the victim.

This story is copyrighted © 2019, 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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