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Cassopolis man molests 7-year-old girl, gets 3 years

Published 1:55pm Friday, March 22, 2013

CASSOPOLIS — A 47-year-old Cassopolis man who molested his girlfriend’s 7-year-old daughter more than five years ago will see the inside of a prison cell.

Charles Parsons was sentenced Friday in Cass County Circuit Court to three years in the Michigan Department of Corrections for second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The victim’s mother spoke at the sentencing hearing, saying her daughter suffers from nightmares and is on medication for depression.

“He took something away from her that can never be given back and that’s her innocence,” she said. “She has to deal with it the rest of her life and he gets some time in prison.”

Parsons was living with the victim’s mother at the time of the offense. Court documents indicate Parsons molested the victim on three separate occasions.

“He also attempted to make her feel bad by, as indicated in the presentence report, calling her a slut when he was done molesting her,” said Assistant Prosecutor Tiffiny Vohwinkle.

The victim came forward at age 13 — five years after the offense occurred. The victim’s explanation for not coming forward sooner, Vohwinkle said, was because she didn’t want her sister — the biological daughter of Parsons and the victim’s mother — to live without a father.

“She didn’t want to take away her sister’s father because she never had a father,” Vohwinkle said.

According to court documents, Parsons did not commit any more acts of criminal sexual conduct after the initial three.

Judge Michael Dodge, who sentenced Parsons, called the crime significant.

“I am sure she will suffer psychological damage as a result of this sexual abuse for the rest of her life,” he said.

Parsons received credit for two days served.

Sentencing guidelines were 29 to 57 months.

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