Union teen sentenced to jail for criminal sexual conduct

Published 6:52 pm Sunday, May 8, 2011

CASSOPOLIS — A Union teen was sent to jail April 21 for molesting a 9-year-old boy on Christmas Day last year.

Adam Lee, 17, was sentenced to five years of probation and 12 months in jail on a second-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction at Cass County Circuit Court. He will receive credit for one day already served.

The sentencing guidelines called for a prison term, but Judge Michael Dodge deviated from the guidelines due to Lee’s age.

The offense occurred on Dec. 25, according to Dodge, when Lee was at the boy’s house and lured him to a shed away from the home. Dodge said testimony from the victim indicated Lee threatened to hurt the boy with a weapon, then molested him. Prosecutor Victor Fitz said Lee is in denial and maintained the boy came onto him. Lee held his head in his hands and choked back tears in the courtroom, as the victim’s mother spoke.

The mother said her son has been in counseling every week since the incident, frequently has nightmares and is scared to leave the house at night.

“There is a lot of anger and sadness inside him,” she said. “(He) checks his window every night to make sure they’re locked.” The mother also said her son doesn’t hate Lee for what he did but thinks he should be in jail. “I forgive Adam Lee,” she said. “But I won’t ever forget.” Fitz called the incident a “Christmas nightmare” for the child and his family and said Lee was “very calculating in what he did.”

Defense attorney James Miller argued that his client turned 17 just two months prior to the offense. “He has a juvenile’s attitude and a juvenile’s mind,” Miller said. “At age 17, he has a long way to go.”

Miller requested no incarceration, so Lee, a sophomore at White Pigeon High School, could continue going to school and counseling. For his part, Lee issued a written statement to Judge Dodge, but “I’m sorry” is all he said verbally to the court.