Rothbury man sentenced to 20-40 years in prison for CSC.

September 21, 2020

Gregory Dougherty, right, and attorney Ryan Good.

Rothbury man sentenced to 20-40 years in prison for CSC.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — A 21-year-old Rothbury man was sentenced in 27th Circuit Court Monday, Sept. 21, to 20-40 years in prison for a conviction of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC).

Gregory Lawrence Dougherty, of 7169 S. 88th Ave., pleaded guilty, June 29, when he testified that he had sex with an 11-year-old girl.

Dougherty lacks the “insight” regarding the consequences of having sex with an 11-year-old girl who thought of him as a big brother, said Judge Robert D. Springstead. “The defendant says he accepts responsibility, but not really.” The judge said there were two incidents of sexual penetration with the victim.

Dougherty faces a criminal trial in Muskegon County for another CSC case. The female victims in that case are 13 and 14 years old, said Judge Springstead. He is charged with third-degree CSC, which is a 15-year felony.

“At some level, the defendant acknowledges being warned and basically said he wished that he would have listened,” said the judge who exceeded the sentencing guidelines of 42-70 months.

Dougherty will be subject to lifetime electronic monitoring upon his release from prison.

Last June, Judge Springstead asked Dougherty why he was pleading guilty. “I’m pleading guilty because I did what I did,” he answered. Dougherty testified that he had sex with the girl last winter in an abandoned house in Rothbury down the street from his parents’ home.

“She was slightly a friend of mine,” he said. “She became one of my good friends, but she isn’t anymore.”

“How did you convince this girl to go in an abandoned building with you?” the judge asked. “She always followed me around,” he said.

“He’s a good candidate for a lower sentence and treatment,” said Dougherty’s attorney Ryan Good. “He regrets it.”

Due to COVID-19 precautions, Dougherty appeared in court Monday via Zoom video conferencing from the Muskegon County Jail. He had no comment during his sentencing.

His arrest in Oceana County stems from an investigation by the Michigan State Police.

First-degree CSC is punishable by up to life in prison.

Dougherty received credit for 178 days served in jail.

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