Archived Story

83-year-old avoids more jail for sex, drug crimes

Published 5:26pm Friday, October 18, 2013

CASSOPOLIS — An 83-year-old Niles man who traded prescription pills for money and sexual favors won’t spend any more time in jail.

On Friday, Judge Michael Dodge sentenced Victor Starrett to 144 days in jail with credit for 144 days already served in Cass County Circuit Court. Starrett pleaded guilty in July to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and delivery of Vicodin.

Starrett admitted to grabbing the butt of a female victim, accounting for the criminal sexual conduct charge.

Starrett said nothing happened of a sexual nature.

“At 83 years old you don’t run around and do that,” said Starrett, who needed the aid of headphones to hear the court proceedings.

Dodge told the court Starrett gave his own prescribed Vicodin pills to two female victims in exchange for money and sexual favors two years ago. Charges were filed in March.

Assistant Prosecutor Tiffiny Vohwinkle said Starrett has a long criminal history, including four previous felony convictions and five misdemeanor convictions.

Sentencing guidelines for Starrett were seven to 23 months.

Dodge said he deviated from the guidelines due to Starrett’s age and poor health.

Also Friday:

• Sandra Higgins, 29, of Cassopolis was sentenced to 18 months probation for stealing prescription pills from a friend’s home in Jones on June 17.

• Amberson Huff, 30, of Dowagiac, was sentenced to a year in jail on several charges stemming from a domestic violence call at a residence on Front Street in Dowagiac on June 7. Huff was convicted of hitting and pushing his girlfriend down some stairs and later resisting arrest.

• Paula Williams, 43, of Dowagiac, was sentenced to a year of probation for marijuana possession. She was arrested Jan. 16 at Riverside Drive in Dowagiac.

• Dustin Pascoe, 36, of Cassopolis, was sentenced to a year in jail on several drug-related charges. Pasco was pulled over by police on Division Street in Dowagiac on May 1. He fled police and was caught with cocaine and marijuana in his possession.

• Tanisha White, 23, of Dowagiac, was sentenced to 18 months probation for attempted assault with a dangerous weapon. White was charged with swinging a hammer at a relative during an argument at a residence on Railroad Street in Dowagiac May. 29.

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