‘Star linebacker’ sentenced to 5-15 years in prison for sex crime.

October 18, 2021


‘Star linebacker’ sentenced to 5-15 years in prison for sex crime.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — An 18-year-old Muskegon man was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison for a conviction of third-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) in 27th Circuit Court Monday, Oct. 18.

Dwight Bernard McKinney pleaded guilty, July 26. Defense attorney Terry Nolan said McKinney was a “star linebacker” for Muskegon High School’s football team.

McKinney is one of four Muskegon men charged with CSC in connection to the case that was investigated by a multi-jurisdictional task force including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during the summer of 2020. The victim was an 11-year-old Oceana County girl.

Nolan described the case as “very tragic.” 

Nolan said his client, who is learning disabled, was misled by one of the co-defendants in the case — Jermaine Lamar Chapman, 25. Nolan said Chapman lied to McKinney about his age, claiming he was only 18 years old. McKinney was 17 at the time of the offense. 

“He befriended Dwight,” said the attorney. “He tells him one night, ‘Hey, I know this girl,’ and they get in a van and go up north. This girl comes crawling out of the trailer window and gets into the car and gets naked.

McKinney appears in court via Polycom video conferencing from the Oceana County Jail Monday.

“He’s a 17-year-old boy, and I don’t think he was expecting that kind of situation, and he reacted. And he reacted by having sex with this girl.”

“I apologize to her and her family, and I wish it never would have happened,” said McKinney.

“He is a follower — he is not a leader,” said Nolan. “He never would have taken someone up there to do that. He was with this older guy who had duped him. He wound up in this situation, and his life was turned upside down. He was the star linebacker for Muskegon High School, and they were fighting for the state championship. He was going to be one of their leading players, and he lost his opportunity to play football. His whole world came apart, and he went into a really deep depression.”

McKinney’s family is a strong support system, said Nolan. “He has a huge group of people that love him to death,” he said. 

“To his credit, Your Honor, he met for hours with authorities, trying to help with the investigation,” the attorney said to Judge Robert D. Springstead. 

McKinney initially faced three counts of first-degree CSC, which were dismissed in a plea agreement.

The maximum penalty for third-degree CSC is 15 years in prison, and the maximum term for first-degree CSC is life in prison. Had McKinney been convicted of first-degree CSC, he would have been sentenced to a 25-year mandatory minimum jail term. 

Sentencing guidelines in the case are 24-48 months, said Judge Springstead. McKinney received credit for 86 days served in jail. He must register as a sex offender.

Robert Iree Mallard, 23, of Muskegon was sentenced to a 10-15 year prison term, Oct. 4, after pleading guilty to third-degree CSC, July 12.

Chapman faces a first-degree CSC charge and two charges of second-degree CSC in Muskegon County in the connection to the case. He is lodged in the Muskegon County Jail on a $1.5 million cash/surety bond, according to jail records. He is scheduled to appear in Muskegon County’s 14th Circuit Court Monday, Oct. 25.

MoQuonteravious Moffett, 20, faces one count of third-degree CSC and is lodged in the Muskegon County Jail on a $250,000 bond, according to jail records. His next court date in Muskegon County is Dec. 6.

The massive investigation began July 23, 2020 at 6:30 a.m. when an Oceana County sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to a Grant Township residence, Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast previously said.

The girl’s father saw what appeared to be a man’s legs in his daughter’s bed. The male ran from the residence, and the dad called police. That incident prompted an investigation that the girl was sexually assaulted by several men. Evidence was uncovered indicating that the men would sneak out through the bedroom window and give the girl alcohol and drugs while sexually assaulting her. Evidence also indicated that the girl would sneak out of the house through her bedroom window and leave with the men. The girl was allegedly threatened if she told anyone, police said, because there were videos she wouldn’t want anyone to see.

A task force involving both sheriff’s offices from Oceana and Muskegon counties, the Michigan State Police and the FBI were involved.

The male who fled the home when startled by the father was a 16-year-old who was not accused of any crimes.

The girl met one of the suspects through social media.

Please consider helping to fund local news. Mason County Press and Oceana County Press are available for free thanks to the generous support of our advertisers and individuals who support our service. Click on the PayPal donation button located on the top right of our website.

This story is copyrighted © 2021, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

As the services of Media Group 31, LLC are news services, the information posted within the sites are archivable for public record and historical posterity. For this reason it is the policy and practice of this company to not delete postings. It is the editor’s discretion to update or edit a story when/if new information becomes available. This may be done by editing the posted story or posting a new “follow-up” story. Media Group 31, LLC or any of its agents have the right to make any changes to this policy. Refer to Use Policy for more information.


Subscribe to OCP via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12,809 other subscribers