Indiana man faces up to 15 years in prison in CSC case.

March 26, 2018

Neil Hopkins with defense attorney Jennifer Kuiper-Weise.

Indiana man faces up to 15 years in prison in CSC case.


By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — The criminal sexual conduct case against a 41-year-old Lafayette, Indiana man is headed to trial in 27th Circuit Court next month, but the defendant has two weeks to decide if he will accept a plea offer that includes a one-year jail term.

Neil Ashley Hopkins, of 1330 Sheron Chapel Rd., faces three felony counts of first-degree CSC – victim under 13 years old.

Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon offered a plea deal, in which Hopkins can plead to second-degree CSC with a cap of one year in jail. The victim in the case agreed to the arrangement, Bizon said.

Sentencing guidelines in the case are nine to 15 years, stated Judge Robert D. Springstead Monday, March 26, during a motion hearing. “You’re risking an awful lot by going to trial,” said Springstead.

The offer will remain open until April 9, but Hopkins is not presently not accepting the offer, stated his attorney, Jennifer Kuiper-Weise.

Hopkins was found competent to stand trial after recently undergoing psychiatric testing.

Hopkins, who is currently free on a $50,000/cash/surety bond, was arrested approximately a year ago by the Michigan State Police.

The alleged incidents occurred during January of 2014 to January of 2017 in Pentwater Township, according to Hopkins’ court file. First-degree CSC is punishable by up to life in prison.

Hopkins’ trial is scheduled for April 25-27.

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