Judge sets bond at $1 million for man accused of criminal sexual conduct with child.

July 19, 2022


Judge sets bond at $1 million for man accused of criminal sexual conduct with child.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Late Monday evening, Mason County’s 79th District Court Judge John Middlebrook set bond at $1 million for Michael James Walworth. The 49-year-old Scottville man has been arraigned on 10 charges in connection to a criminal sexual conduct case, involving a child, investigated jointly by Scottville Police Department and the Mason County Sheriff’s Office. Walworth of 412 N. Main St., Scottville, was arrested Saturday following an extensive search warrant execution at his home.

Walworth was charged Monday in Mason County’s 79th District Court with 10 felony counts:

  • Criminal sexual conduct first degree during a felony (two counts).
  • Child abusive commercial activity (two counts).
  • Using a computer to commit a crime (two counts).
  • Capturing/disturbing image of unclothed person (two counts).
  • Possession of child sexually abusive material (two counts).

Criminal sexual conduct first degree is punishable by up to life in prison.

“On July 12, 2022, the Scottville Police Department requested assistance from the Mason County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of a possible criminal sexual conduct — first degree complaint in the City of Scottville,” Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole stated in a press release. “The Mason County Sheriff’s Office and SPD conducted a joint investigation.

“MCSO detectives, throughout the week, conducted interviews and collected potential evidence related to a sexual assault complaint. On Saturday, July 16, 2022, MCSO detectives arrested a 49 year-old Scottville man on a charge of CSC — first degree related to the original complaint taken by SPD.”

Sheriff Cole said that, so far, there has only been one victim. That victim does not live in Mason County, Cole said.

“I am very pleased to see that the Mason County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office worked with the sheriff’s office’s detectives and chose to press the quantity of charges that they did,” Cole said. “I think this speaks highly of law enforcement in this county. First, that we work cooperatively and do what is best for the victims. And, second, that if you commit a crime of this magnitude in Mason County, then you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Cole also complimented Scottville Police Department. “Again, it speaks highly of the professionalism of our local law enforcement. Scottville Police Department is a small and effective department. But, Chief Murphy knew that the best course of action was to work with the sheriff’s office and its resources so we can do everything possible to bring justice to the victim in this case.”

A preliminary examination is scheduled for Aug. 3 at 1:30 p.m.

Both Cole and Scottville Police Chief Matt Murphy described the investigation as ongoing.

The police news is a presentation of Lenz-Balder Insurance, offering Auto Owners Insurance, 201 E. Court St., Ludington, 231-845-6279, www.lenzbalderins.com.

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