Coldwater man sentenced to jail for conduct with girls along PM River.

December 2, 2014


By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — A Coldwater man will serve jail time for sexually assaulting two girls along the Pere Marquette River over Labor Day weekend. William Joseph Stempien, 43, appeared in 51st Circuit Court this afternoon and was sentenced to one year in jail, serving eight months up front on the charges of criminal sexual conduct fourth degree and accosting children.

On August 30 at 4:48 p.m. a Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officer on patrol on Cable Road near Custer Road was flagged down by two young females claiming they had been sexually assaulted.  The conservation officer stayed with the victims until Mason County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived.

A second deputy located Stempien, based on information provided by the Conservation Officer, at the Scottville Riverside Park boat launch, where he was found in possession of hydrocodone pills and eventually arrested, according to Sheriff Kim Cole.

The mother of one of the victims addressed the court.

“Many lives were changed that day and most will never be the same,” she said. “(Stempien) acted on selfish and personal pleasure. Both my daughters loved the Stempien families. Bill’s brother and I were going to marry someday and that is no longer true… This big dark secret is not a secret is not a secret any longer. I and my daughter are grateful for that.”

The mother said that Stempien had often made sexually alluding comments to her daughters.

“I truly believe Bill would have harmed them even more if they didn’t have the sense to escape out of that truck.”

She said her daughter is now seeking mental counseling and is hesitant to be close to male role models.

The defendant was given an opportunity to address the court as well.

“I’m just sorry for what I done,” Stempien said. “I didn’t mean to hurt nobody. It was just fun and games, I thought.”

Stempien will serve his time in the Branch County jail. He is required to report there on Jan. 9, 2015 by 8 p.m. He was allowed additional time to finish a contracted job he is working on.

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