Trials for 2 ‘sextortion’ defendants moved to NovemberPublished 11:55am Friday, October 14, 2011
Two of the five Niles teenagers allegedly involved in the “sextortion” case had their trials adjourned until next month at a
status conference Friday at Berrien County Trial Court.
Judge Charles LaSata, sitting in for Judge Scott Schofield, granted a joint request from the defense and prosecution to move the trial dates for Parnell Martin and Martell Miller to Nov. 29 through Dec. 2.
Both defendants had been previously scheduled for trial next week.
Co-defendant Trey Nichols also had his trial, originally scheduled for next week, adjourned Friday. A new trial date was not set, but Assistant Prosecutor Steve Pierangeli told reporters after the proceedings that the trial could be set for mid-December.
All three will remain on bond but had no-contact orders put in place with their co-defendants.
Martin, Miller and Nichols, along with co-defendants Martise Washington and Leon Murphy, are accused of involvement in a scheme to blackmail an underage girl into having sex with them in March.
The case stems from a digital video recording of the victim’s sexual encounter with Washington at Nichols’ home. The victim alleges she agreed to perform sex acts with Miller, Martin and Murphy when they threatened to post the video onto Facebook if she didn’t consent.
Miller, Martin, Murphy and Nichols all face multiple criminal sexual conduct counts, among other charges. Murphy had pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct in the third degree and possession of child pornography but Judge Schofield took under advisement his motion to withdraw his guilty plea earlier this month.