November 21, 2017

Erickson pleads guilty to first-degree CSC

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WEST BRANCH — Former Rose City Middle School teacher Neal Erickson pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor during a pretrial in 34th Circuit Court in West Branch May 8.

In exchange for the guilty plea, a seven-year felony charge of using a computer to commit a crime was dropped, as was a four-year felony charge of possessing child sexually abusive material and a two-year felony charge of distributing sexually explicit material to a minor.

Two other counts of first-degree CSC were also dropped per the plea agreement.

Erickson was alleged to have engaged in sexual acts with a male student who was older than 13, but younger than 16, between August 2006 and August 2009. During the May 8 pretrial, Erickson confessed to the crime.

“I engaged in oral sex to the victim, as well as the victim to me in my home,” Erickson told Circuit Court Judge Michael Baumgartner.

First-degree CSC carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 10. At the end of the court proceedings, Baumgartner told Erickson that his bond was revoked, and he was ordered to report to the Ogemaw County Jail.

Erickson was charged with CSC in December 2012 after the findings of a Michigan State Police investigation linked him to the crime. The investigation was started in October of last year.

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