Cass man opts out of third trial; sentenced

Published 12:25 am Saturday, December 20, 2003

By By NORMA LERNER / Niles Daily Star
CASSOPOLIS -- Gary E. Marchbanks, 53, plead no contest, saving himself and the Cass County Circuit Court from a third trial for criminal sexual conduct.
Realizing there were insurmountable charges against him, the Cassopolis man didn't see any reason to continue in another trial.
He was sentenced Friday on criminal sexual conduct convictions against a then 13-year-old girl who lived at his household in Cassopolis for the last two years.
He will serve 38 months to five years in prison for third-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct and one year in jail for each of two counts of possession of child sexual abusive materials.
He received credit for 256 days served. The terms are all concurrent to an earlier sentence imposed in November when Marchbanks received 18 to 50 years in prison for three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and 10 to 15 years for three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct against a 10-year-old girl who also lived in his household during 2001 to 2002.
Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz said Marchbanks is a sexual predator and a deviant consumed by pornography. "He is selfish. I asked for the maximum allowable," he said before sentencing.
Marchbanks' court appointed attorney James Miller argued that Marchbanks is a person with unfortunate circumstances of what expired during two trials for him, one in April, 2003, against the 10-year-old when a mistrial was declared since the jury could not reach a unanimous decision and one in September, 2003, when a jury convicted him of sexually assaulting the girl and taking nude photographs of her in 2001 and 2002.
Miller asked for Marchbanks to receive the low end of the guideline range which was 19 to 38 months.
Judge Michael E. Dodge imposed the maximum after recounting that in May, 2002, Marchbanks engaged in acts of criminal sexual conduct against the girl under the age of 13 by fondling her and progressing to penile acts of penetration.
A third trial had been scheduled on Jan. 6 for Marchbanks on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
He was assessed $60 to the Crime Victims' fund and $100 in state assessment fees.