Anderson enters guilty plea

Anderson enters guilty plea

MARQUETTE — The trial for a 60–year–old man of Little Lake charged with four counts of criminal sexual conduct with a victim under the age of thirteen has concluded.

On the second day of trial, 60–year–old Joel Anderson of Little Lake entered a guilty plea.

Marquette County Circuit Court Judge Mazzuchi said, “on count five; criminal sexual conduct assault with intent to commit sexual penetration; how do you plead, guilty or not guilty?”

Jeol Anderson replied, “Guilty”.

Under Michigan law, assault with intent to commit sexual penetration is a ten year felony. Both of the girls were included in the complaint. Anderson’s prison sentence will be no less than 4 years and no more than 10. He will also be required to register as a sex offender. Marquette County Prosecutor Matt Wiese said that he is very satisfied with the plea agreement.

“It’s always been my goal to see that there is a sex–offense felony level conviction,” said Marquette County Prosecutor Matt Wiese, “and that there be a prison term.”

Wednesday’s plea agreement was entered prior to any testimony for the day, including the two girls who were prepared to testify. The girls reported in October 2014 that they had been touched inappropriately by Anderson in their vaginal, rectal, and chest areas. Both victims were 9 years old at the time. Wiese said he feels this plea agreement is a win for the girls and the family.

“If you were 11 years old and had to go talk about this in front of a jury knowing that every word that you have ever said about this is going to be highly scrutinized, it’s difficult. The best thing for these girls is that I was able to go back to my office and tell them, ‘you’re done, you never, ever have to come back to this court room again,'”

Joel Anderson will be sentenced in Marquette County Circuit Court on April 8th.