Man gets jail sentence for criminal sexual conduct

ESCANABA – A 21-year-old Bark River man was sentenced Friday to six months in the county jail for having sex with a minor last year. His attorney said it was a two-way street but the judge backed the law.

“The law says you can’t have sex with someone under 16,” said Delta County Judge Stephen Davis. “It is a one-way street.”

Davis sentenced Cody Michael Spirito to the six-month jail term and five years probation on one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Spirito pleaded no contest to the high-court misdemeanor charged in connection with a May 18 incident in Escanaba involving a 15-year-old girl.

Prior to being sentenced, Spirito told the court he understands what he did was wrong and apologized to the victim and her family and everyone else involved in the case.

His attorney, Michael Manning, agreed his client took advantage of someone under age but added, “It was a two-way street.” Manning asked the court for a more moderate sentencing because of this, the defendant’s clean record, and the limitations to be placed on him for 25 years as a registered sex offender.

Davis ordered Spirito to the five years probation, explaining the court will limit what he can do for that time period by “channeling” his behavior.

For five years, Spirito can have no contact with the victim or her family. He can have no contact with a female 17 years or younger. He cannot marry or date anyone in custody of a female 17 years or younger. He cannot own or use a computer or electronic device for the Internet.

He cannot enter places where there are exotic dancers. He cannot consume alcohol or enter bars.

He cannot live within 1,000 feet of school property or be within 500 feet of parks. He must be in his residence from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for five years, said Davis. The judge noted the above probation restrictions can be flexible in the future.

Following Spirito’s arrest in August, he was lodged in the county jail in lieu of a $10,000 cash bond. He later posted a $10,000 surety bond and was released from police custody.

During Fridays’ sentencing, he was given credit for one day served in jail. He was also ordered to pay $948 in fines and costs.

In exchange for the above no contest plea, the prosecution agreed to dismiss one 15-year felony count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a person 13-15 years old and one four-year felony count of accosting children for immoral purposes involving a child less than 16 years old.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143, jlancour@dailypress.net