Alger Co. defendants plead guilty

Thirty-five-year-old Benjamin Franklin II pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Franklin is the former principal of the Munising Baptist School in Wetmore.

He told the court that between 2011 and this year, he sexually abused a 16-to-18-year-old female student with the initials M.S.

Charges involving another alleged victim with the initials V.O. have been dropped.

Franklin will be sentenced on September 4th; he could receive up to 15 years in prison.

Eighteen-year-old Ruben Sifuentes of Munising pleaded guilty to breaking and entering a building with intent.

He’s pleaded guilty under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act.

If Sifuentes completes his sentence without further incident, the offense will be wiped from his record.

He and 17-year-old Brandon Monroe of Shingleton broke into the Oasis gas station in Shingleton in late April. Monroe has already pleaded guilty.

He and Sifuentes will both be sentenced on August 16th. They could each receive up to 10 years.

And 21-year-old Samantha Menerey of Bay City pleaded guilty to first-degree home invasion.

Several other charges against her have been dropped.

In exchange, she’ll testify against her co-defendant, 29-year-old Richard VanPelt of Bay City, and against any uncharged co-conspirators.

Menerey said that she and VanPelt entered a house in Au Train Township in march.

She testified that they beat up a 19-year-old man in the house before stealing a television, jewelry and other items.

Menerey will also be sentenced on August 16th. She could spend up to 20 years in prison, but Judge William Carmody said a sentence at the bottom of the state guidelines would be considered.