Montague man receives 14-60 year prison term for sex crime

December 7, 2015
Edward Morpeth with his attorney,

Edward Morpeth with his attorney, Melissa Dykman

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — A 58-year-old Montague man was sentenced in 27th Circuit Court Monday, Dec. 7, to 14-60 years in prison for molesting a 13-year-old girl.

Edward Anthony Morpeth, of 9561 Oaklawn St., will also be subject to lifetime electronic monitoring as part of his sentence, which was handed down by Judge Anthony A. Monton.

“I am not only a victim of sexual abuse, but also a survivor,” said the victim in front of a packed, emotionally-filled courtroom. “Every day is a struggle for me. What you have to done to this family physically and mentally will never go away. I’m trying to get this family out of this pit.”

“Every day is a challenge,” read Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon in a statement written by the victim’s mother. “I am left with hurt and anger. The nature of those acts will haunt me forever. I am left with the aftermath. It is the hardest burden to bear. The thought of it makes me physically sick. You have robbed a child of her innocence.”

The mother’s statement went on to describe Morpeth as “despicable,” stating that her daughter “will forever be haunted. Her lovely youth is ruined” by his “evil, awful scarring act” and that her family must “climb out of this pit of despair.”

“I am very sorry for taking those precious years away from you,” Morpeth said as he wept. “I cried every night but not for myself, for you. I will pray for you to heal. I will get help.”

“I beg for your mercy,” Morpeth said to Monton before he handed down his sentence.

Morpeth received concurrent terms of 14-60 years for two first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) convictions with credit for 85 days served in the county jail. Sentencing guidelines are 126-210 months, Monton said.

Morpeth molested a young girl “over multiple years,” involving “20 separate penetrations,” said Bizon previously. The molestations began when the girl was 13 years old, he said.

A third count of first-degree CSC was dismissed in a plea deal.