Defendant Gets Re-sentencing in People v. Jerome Sueing
The Court of Appeals in People v. Jerome Romey Sueing granted Defendant Sueing a re-sentencing in this case involving aggravated indecent exposure charges.
What Happened in the Case
Sueing was charged in two cases. In the first case, he was charged with aggravated indecent exposure and indecent exposure by a sexually delinquent person. In the second case, he was charged with aggravated indecent exposure and indecent exposure by a sexually delinquent person. In each of the case a jury found Sueing guilty on all charges. Both cases had similar fact patterns. Sueing exposed himself and masturbated while sitting next to a women in a public place, once in the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, and once in the lobby of an art school.
When Sueing was sentenced, the trial court sentenced him as a fourth-habitual offender (meaning he had at least three prior felony convictions). He was sentenced to concurrent sentences of 24 months to 15 years imprisonment for the aggravated indecent exposure, and 20 to 40 years imprisonment for the indecent exposure by a sexually delinquent person.
Notably and relevant to the appeal, the trial court assessed 25 points on offense variable 13. The Court assessed these points for an incident in 2014, in which Sueing was alleged to have been in public, sitting next to a girl, and masturbating in his pants, but not exposing himself. OV 13 is the variable relevant to a pattern of three or more felonies within three years.
Sueing on appeal argued that that the trial court incorrectly scored OV 13. He argued that the incident in 2014 did not involve him exposing himself. Therefore it was not indecent exposure – because there was no exposure. An exposure, for “indecent exposure,” means “knowingly make any open or indecent exposure of his or her person of another.” The Court agreed with his argument. The Court remanded the issue to the trial court for re-sentencing consistent with the new scoring.
OV 13 is 25 points toward the felony scoring guidelines. 25 can make a large difference at sentencing.
Often, the sentencing makes a big difference in a case. Felony sentencing is done pursuant to felony sentencing laws. Cases are “scored” according to what happened in the case and the person’s prior record. Many case outcomes are determined by the felony sentencing guidelines more so than whether “the person did it.” It’s important to have a criminal defense lawyer who understand the sentencing law and has the ability to make those arguments in Court.
Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Defense Attorney in Washtenaw County.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
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This is an unpublished case arising out of the Kent County Circuit Court.
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