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Judge sentences Lansing man to take medication for sex crimes

If incarceration, probation and parole have not stopped a sex crimes convict from reoffending, could medicine make a difference? The Ingham County Circuit Court is giving a man a chance to avoid possible life in prison by agreeing to let him try medication to curb his inappropriate urges.

The man pleaded guilty on Aug. 6 to several charges of indecent exposure. He admitted exposing his genitals at coffee shops on three occasions. He has prior convictions for similar behavior that go back decades.

In exchange for his guilty plea, the man will face up to a year in jail, plus five years of probation. Also, as part of the plea agreement the defendant made with the judge, he will undergo a drug regimen designed to curb his apparent compulsions.

As his defense attorney explained, the man will take “a series of pills” for 14 days. After that, he will receive monthly injections. This will be the first time the defendant has tried medication. His attorney said the regimen has been “highly successful” in treating other sex offenders.

The judge said that she was willing to try this alternative to life in prison. Despite the defendant’s behavior, she said, he is still a human being. “And I don’t throw away human beings,” she said. However, she warned the defendant that, once his jail term ends, if he slips up again, he would be sent to prison.

In many cases, sex crimes happen because the offender is dealing with a mental disorder. Treating the condition, rather than putting the person behind bars, may be more likely to prevent future crimes.

Source: Lansing State Journal, “Serial sex offender from Lansing to undergo little-known drug treatment,” Kevin Grasha, Aug. 6, 2014

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