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Sterling Heights

August 26, 2014

Man sentenced in child sex assault case

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

STERLING HEIGHTS — A Sterling Heights teen arrested and arraigned in December on charges of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl recently was sentenced to prison time after a no-contest plea months ago.

Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Mary Chrzanowski sentenced Anthony Trandell, 19, of Sterling Heights, to two to 15 years of imprisonment Aug. 7. Trandell earlier pleaded no contest to two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in June.

According to police, the sexual assaults Trandell was charged with took place at his Sterling Heights home, where police said his mother had been running an unlicensed home daycare. Police said the child victim alerted her own mother to the unlawful behavior.

Macomb County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Yasmine Poles said that the incidents to which Trandell pleaded no contest occurred between Sept. 1 and Nov. 6 last year, during which the young victim had attended the daycare.

In an email, Poles said it’s within the court’s discretion to decide whether or not it will accept a no-contest plea as opposed to a guilty plea.

“If the court finds that there is a basis to do so, it will take judicial notice of the police reports. As it did in People v. Trandell,” she said.

According to attorneys, a parole board would be responsible for determining when Trandell would leave prison in between the two to 15 years. As part of the sentence, Trandell would be required to be electronically monitored upon release from prison, and he would also be registered as a sex offender.

Trandell’s attorney, Vincenzo Manzella, said he anticipates that the sentencing will be appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals. He said that under Michigan sentencing guidelines, his client should have been sentenced to a shorter term in the Macomb County Jail, not prison.

“The judge actually departed upward from the sentencing guidelines,” Manzella said. “Unless the judge found substantial and compelling reasons to deviate, he should’ve been sentenced to 12 months in the county jail.”

Poles commented on the sentence from the prosecutorial side.

“The judge agreed with our position and granted our request to deviate above sentencing guidelines because there were substantial and compelling reasons to do so,” she said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.