Benton Harbor man sentenced to prison

Published 8:49 pm Monday, January 31, 2011

As he stood before a judge Monday, Derik Beilman, 33, of Benton Harbor was reminded by a heavy prison sentence that his actions in the matter of criminal sexual conduct with a minor would have a long lasting impact on his victim, her family and even his own.

Beilman was convicted of criminal sexual assault in the 4th degree with a 15-year-old victim.

He was sentenced to a minimum of 57 months to 10 years in the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections, with credit for 136 days served. He was also ordered to pay state-incurred fees, fines and costs.

Beilman told Berrien County Trial Court Judge Scott Schofield he was “truly sorry” to have wasted the court and court staff’s time on the case.

He also apologized to his victim, her family and his family. Members of Beilman’s family sat quietly behind him during sentencing.

“I can’t take back what’s been done,” Beilman said. “All I can do is say I’m sorry.”

The prosecution argued during sentencing proceedings there seemed to be no other reason for a 33-year-old man to engage in sexual conduct with a 15-year-old girl “other than for his own selfish or unethical purposes.”

Beilman’s record includes a prior conviction of criminal sexual conduct with an 11-year-old victim and he was also sentenced to serve time in prison for failing to register as a sex offender.

“What you did had a terrible impact on this 15-year-old girl,” Schofield said. “It didn’t stop there.”

The judge explained Beilman’s actions would continue to impact both families involved and Beilman’s own future.

The defendant did make a request to the court for a lesser sentence in regard to time served.

“I appreciate your request for leniency, Mr. Beilman,” Schofield said. “But I must reject it.”

Schofield said Beilman was a “danger” to young women in the area.