Criminal sexual conduct case returns to circuit court


ARENAC COUNTY — A re-sentencing has been set for March for an Arenac County man originally sentenced to life imprisonment for criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.

David Bickham pleaded guilty to one count of first degree CSC, as well as one count of attempted third degree CSC during an arraignment April 9, 2008.

In a 23rd Circuit Court hearing May 7, 2008, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for CSC in the first degree and received 40 to 60 months of imprisonment for the count of attempted CSC in the third degree.

The case went to the Michigan Court of Appeals, which returned the case to the circuit court on Feb. 9, stating that the circuit court needed to articulate its reasons for the sentencing.

Sentencing guidelines recommended 171 to 185 months imprisonment for the count of CSC in the first degree, but the circuit court gave a life sentence with no explanation.

Bickham also argued that the circuit court did not properly score offense variables (OV) 8 and 10.

OV 8 concerns captivity of the victim. The circuit court gave this OV a score of 15 points, which means that the victim was taken to a place or put into a situation of greater danger, or the victim was “held captive beyond the time necessary to commit the offense.”

OV 10 concerns victim vulnerability. The circuit court also gave a score of 15 points for this OV, which means the offender was engaged in predatory conduct.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court’s scoring of 15 points for both OVs, but Judge Joel Hoekstra dissented from the majority affirmation that OV 8 was scored properly. Judge Kirsten Kelly and Judge William Whitbeck were the other two judges presiding over the case for the Court of Appeals.

Bickham’s re-sentencing in the 23rd Circuit Court is set for March 3, 2010, at 11 a.m.


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