Auchinleck man who raped schoolgirl more than 16 years ago finally brought to justice AYRSHIRE POST 16 NOV 2016
A former Flint, Michigan police sergeant was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison for 16 counts of sexual assault and abuse – including six that involved children – that took place in the 1990s, while he was still on the force.
Lawrence Woods, now 68, pleaded guilty in June on multiple charges of criminal sexual misconduct, six of which involved victims under the age of 13.
Genesee Circuit Judge Richard Yuille also ordered Woods to be put on the sex offender list, be tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, and be subject to lifetime electronic monitoring upon release from prison, the Flint Journal reported.
Flint police opened the investigation into Woods in 2014, after a woman came forward to accuse him of sexual abuse between 1996 and 1999, while he was still on the force. Woods had retired in 2002. “At least 50” victims had come forward by September 2014, Police Chief James Tolbert told WEYI at the time.
Investigators found a “substantial amount” of child pornography photos, which were taken at Woods’ former residences, hotels, and even the Flint Police Department, according to WEYI.
Woods maintained his innocence and tried to withdraw the guilty plea before the sentencing, but Judge Yuille declined the request.
“I'm being sent to prison on unsubstantiated lies and to be murdered by the same people I defended my life to protect society against,"Woods said, according to the Flint Journal. "I have definitive proof of my innocence.”
After Woods pleaded guilty in June, the Flint Police Department said it was “disgusted” by his actions.
“His crimes victimized numerous citizens of the community that it is our duty to protect and serve," the Flint PD said in a statement. “We commend the brave victims who came forward, allowing the Flint Police Department Criminal Investigations Bureau to investigate these crimes and remove this criminal from our streets.”
One woman who identified herself as a victim – her name was not disclosed by the media – told Judge Yuille that Woods had befriended her mother, offered her drugs, and would “sweeten up” the children by taking them out to dinner, swimming or shopping. Soon, however, he began forcing her to perform sexual acts and would threaten and beat her.
Woods used his status as a police officer "to prey upon those individuals among us who are most vulnerable," Judge Yuille said at the sentencing, thanking the victims for stepping forward.
"I hope they realize what they've done is the right thing," he said.
Salisbury Police say a convicted robber was charged Nov. 16 in connection with the rape of a 15-year-old girl.
The case was opened in mid-October, after the victim — described in charging documents as drunk and high on marijuana — reported to a Salisbury Fire Department station that she had woken up next to a man with dreadlocks in a nearby home, police said. Due to the victim's intoxication, officers say they had difficulty understanding her answers.
In a follow up interview on Nov. 14, detectives learned that the victim had left school on the day of the rape and became engaged in a text message conversation with 23-year-old Sean Bivens, of Naylor Street, according to charging documents. The victim told police she knew Bivens from when he served prison time with a relative of hers, the documents stated.
Bivens picked the victim up at a gas station and took her to his home where they smoked "loud"— slang for marijuana — and consumed "strong" alcoholic drinks, police said.
The victim told police Bivens tried to kiss her, but stopped when she declined, charging records show. The victim's memory was hazy until she woke up "naked and confused" and in pain, police said. After dressing herself and gathering her belongings, police say she reported to the fire station because her cellphone was dead.
Text messages exchanged between the victim and Bivens following the incident indicated he admitted to sexually assaulting the victim, according to police.
Bivens was charged Nov. 16 in Wicomico County District Court with second-degree rape, sexual solicitation of a minor, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, contributing to the condition of a child and fourth-degree sexual offense. He is being held at the Wicomico County Detention Center without bond.
SPRINGFIELD — Hampden Superior Court Judge John S. Ferrara on Friday sentenced 38-year-old Mark J. Diaz to 16 to 18 years in state prison followed by five years probation.
Diaz, of Springfield, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape of a child aggravated by age difference and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.
The girl who Diaz raped over a period of several years was 11 years old when it started. After she had turned 12, Diaz impregnated her, Assistant District Attorney Carrie M. Russell said.
Russell said the rapes continued after the girl was pregnant and Diaz said he was proud of the fact she was pregnant with his child.
Diaz threatened the girl if she told her mother. Russell said Diaz had become a figure of trust to the girl and he took advantage of that.
The girl gave birth to her son in 2014 and has taken on the duties of a teenage mother, Russell said.
The girl's mother gave an emotional statement in court Friday, saying this is something her family has to relive every day of their lives. She said she has to live with the fact she failed to protect her daughter "from a monster."
Her daughter, the mother said, didn't get to choose to whom she lost her virginity and with whom she had her first child. The mother said she and her daughter are parenting the child. "She's a good mom," the mother said of her daughter.
"She has had to grow up faster than she should have," the mother said.
The girl's statement, read by her mother, said she can't be a normal teen as her child comes first.
As conditions of his probation, Diaz must stay away from the girl and her mother, have no contact with children under 16, and participate in any treatment deemed necessary by the Probation Department.
Defense lawyer Erin Boylan said Diaz had a childhood full of abuse and neglect. She said he deeply regrets what he did to the girl in this case.
Boylan argued for a sentence of 10 to 13 years in state prison followed by probation, saying even that sentence is harsher than the term state sentencing guidelines suggest.
Russell asked for a sentence of 17 to 20 years in state prison followed by seven years probation.
Ferrara said the state guidelines in this case understate the seriousness of the crime and he needed to exceed them. He said the guidelines don't take into account the long-term effects the crime will have.
The judge said the fact that the abuse continued even after the victim was impregnated impacted his decision.