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Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) charges in East Lansing attacks

A 26-year-old man has been charged with multiple counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) in a series of East Lansing sexual assaults on Michigan State University students. Surveillance footage at an East Lansing Meijer is what ultimately led to his arrest; it shows the defendant stalked two of the three victims while they shopped, before he attacked them. The footage also shows him taking cell phone pictures of women from behind as they shopped, seemingly unaware.

The man admitted in a written confession to East Lansing police that he committed the sexual assaults over the course of about a month last spring. He admitted to following two of the victims after seeing them at Meijer. The defendant was known by store security for stealing electronics, which supported his drug habit. He also claims that his drug habit-- smoking crack cocaine-- is what fueled the attacks. He says he would get the urge to act out fantasies inspired by fetish/abusive pornographic videos. He says he is unable to control his thoughts and actions while under the influence of drugs, and felt he was in a fantasy at the time of the attacks.

With a criminal history of shoplifting and drug possession charges, the man now faces up to life in prison if he is convicted of all charges against him. He would not be successful in asserting a defense of intoxication; voluntary intoxication is not a defense to general intent crimes, and Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) in any degree is a general intent crime. Voluntary intoxication is only a defense to specific intent crimes, and only where the defendant voluntarily consumed a legally obtained substance without knowledge that it would cause impairment or intoxication-- it is a narrow defense.

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