Circuit Court sentencesPublished 7:41pm Sunday, December 11, 2011
CASSOPOLIS — A 32-year-old Dowagiac man will serve at least 15 years in prison for sexually abusing a boy more than a decade ago.
Shane Hertsel, 217 Spaulding St., was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree for engaging in multiple acts of sexual penetration with the victim. Cass County Circuit Court Judge Michael Dodge said during sentencing Friday the offense occurred during a one-year period between Jan. 4 of 1996 and Jan. 4 of 1997. Hertsel was 16 and 17 years old during that time period while the victim was 14 and 15 years old.
Dodge sentenced Hertsel to a minimum of 15 years in prison with a maximum of 30 years. Hertsel receives 150 days credit for time served.
Dodge said he views Hertsel’s criminal conduct as extremely serious.
“It inflicts untold psychological damage upon the victim, which he may well feel for the rest of his life,” Dodge said.
Dodge also said this type of criminal conduct poses a significant risk to other children that Hertsel might come in contact with.
“The court has to be concerned about the deterrent effect as well as punishing you, because if you’ve done this in the past there is always the risk it reoccurring,” he said.
Given the opportunity to speak prior to his sentencing, Hertsel said he is sorry for what he has done and that he didn’t understand at the time of the offense the impact his actions would have on others.
Drunk driving conviction
Also on Friday, Timothy Saylor, 92079 54th St., Dowagiac, was sentenced to one year in jail and three years probation for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Dodge said it is Saylor’s fourth drunk driving conviction. Saylor receives 44 days credit for time served.
Jason Vickery, 5075 Anderson Drive, Coloma, was sentenced to 120 days in jail with credit for four days served for possession of methamphetamine.
Katarri Edwards, 111 Ashland, Dowagiac, was sentenced to 180 days in jail for possession of cocaine less than 25 grams.
Stolen debit card
Amber Bowen, 17934 Stateline Rd., Edwardsburg, was sentenced to 150 days in jail with credit for 59 days served for stealing a friend’s debit card and using it to purchasing items without consent.