His lawyer says he’s not a “cruel person,” even though he filmed his 10-year-old son having sex with his girlfriend while he was on parole for similar behavior.
He said he was guilty of this crime.
A crime in which his son tried to stop his dad from recording a sex act, but the dad wouldn’t stop, the lawyer says, because the father had been through something similar as a child: At age 9, a family member raped him more than once, and no one did anything about it. His family was used to sexualizing kids too young and in the wrong way.
“Since he had never dealt with his own trauma, he couldn’t understand why it was wrong for his young son to have sex with an adult woman. Instead of stopping what was happening, he took a video of it because he was proud of it “James Gerometta, an attorney, wrote about the man, whose troubled past would keep him from getting a harsher sentence.
The Minimum Punishment for “Unthinkable Crime”
This week, a 35-year-old Detroit father was given the minimum sentence he could have gotten for his crime, which was sexual exploitation of children: 25 years in prison. The Free Press won’t name the father because they want to protect the identity of the young victim.
His sentencing guidelines said he should spend between 25 and 50 years in prison, but U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts thought about how violent his childhood was and gave him the smallest sentence possible. Roberts also thought that the minimum sentence of 25 years, which was required by law, was a big deal on its own.
The defense did not agree.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Rawsthorne wrote in a memo to the judge that the man did “an unthinkable crime” that was “horrific and unthinkable.” He asked the judge to give the father more than 25 years.
The prosecutor didn’t give a specific number, but he said that the “serious and disturbing nature of this case” and the man’s criminal history called for a sentence longer than the mandatory minimum.
According to the prosecutors, this is what happened:
Before he filmed his son, the father was on the sex offender registry because he had been convicted of criminal sexual conduct with a minor he knew in 2014. He was given a sentence of 1–10 years in prison, but then he ran away.
But in the end, the man was caught running away from parole and given another five years in prison.
He was let out of prison in January 2020.
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The Criminal Shared the Video of His Son
He did something wrong again in less than a year, this time hurting his own child.
In November 2020, a man in Detroit used his cellphone to record his 10-year-old son and his girlfriend having sex. He told the child what to do and when the boy tried to stop, he “even made the child start up again.” Then, he “spread this video because he was proud of it,” all while he was on a list of people who had been convicted of sex crimes.
State court says that the father and his girlfriend did something illegally sexual.
Prosecutors said in court documents that the man “doesn’t seem to fully understand how serious his offense was, which is concerning.” They also said that even though he was a known sex offender, the man “couldn’t stop himself from committing an extremely serious new sex offense.”
Prosecutors also said that he hasn’t given them any reason to believe that he will follow the law, even after he gets out of jail.
The tweet below confirms the news:
Dad videotaped his 10-year-old son and girlfriend having sex 'out of sense of pride' https://t.co/HANGvGG6Wj
— Detroit Free Press (@freep) April 7, 2023
The man’s lawyer, on the other hand, told a different story. He said that the man grew up in a house that normalized sexuality at a young age, ignored his sexual abuse, and let him become a father at age 13. Since then, he has been on his own.
“The mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years is enough time for him to get the counseling he needs to deal with the trauma he went through in the past,” his lawyer wrote in court papers. “He will be able to see the damage he did to his son if he deals with his own trauma.”
Prosecutors agreed that the man had problems, but they said that for his crimes, he deserved more than 25 years.
“Because this is not his first crime and because this is a serious and upsetting case, the minimum sentence the court can give by law is not enough to protect the public or show how serious this crime is,” prosecutors said in court documents. “These things also make a longer sentence more likely.”
But the judge didn’t agree.
After the sentencing on Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison made the following statement:
“This criminal did something horrible, and it was even worse that he did it while he was under supervision for another sex crime. This sentence will keep people safe and show that we care about keeping children safe.”
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