Prison time for indecent exposure

ESCANABA – A Rapid River man was sentenced to prison Friday on eight counts relating to gross indecency, indecent exposure, and pornography.

Thomas Anthony LaVigne, 29, appeared in Delta County Circuit Court where Judge Stephen Davis ruled on eight convictions regarding incidents in the county from 2012 to 2014.

LaVigne was arrested in March when police tracked him down following the report of a man exposing himself to a female. He was also charged in connection with several other indecent acts during the past two years.

Prior to sentencing, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Philip Strom told the court he has not seen a case like this that’s affected so many people – nine victims during a two-year period involving a U.P.-wide search.

“The defendant is sick. He needs help. His behavior speaks for itself… He also needs to be punished,” said Strom, requesting LaVigne be required to be on a monitoring system when he is released from prison.

The judge sentenced LaVigne to one and a half years to up to seven and a half years in prison on one felony count of gross indecency between a male and a female. He must also register as a sex offender.

He was ordered to serve one and a half years to up to three years on each of four counts of aggravated indecent exposure.

In a separate court file, LaVigne was sentenced to one year and eight months to up to three years in prison for using a computer to commit a crime. He was also ordered to six months behind bars on each of two counts of malicious use of telephone services.

All sentences are to be served concurrently. He was given credit on each sentence for 140 days served in the county jail.

In addition, LaVigne was sentenced as a habitual offender on all of the above eight counts. He had a previous conviction for larceny in a building in 2006.

LaVigne was ordered Friday to pay a total of $768 in fines and costs. He is to have no contact with any of the victims or their families.

When offered an opportunity to make a statement in court, LaVigne said, “I just want to apologize for my actions to the victims, the community, and their families.”

During his plea hearing in circuit court in July, LaVigne admitted to committing indecent exposure of his genitals on five occasions involving five females, including one minor.

He also pleaded no contest to anonymously making more than 50 phone calls to one female and three phone calls to a minor female and asking them pornographic-related questions.

In exchange for the pleas, one count of aggravated indecent exposure by a sexually-delinquent person (a life felony) was dismissed along with other misdemeanors.

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