Thursday, January 31, 2008

Alan B. Corbin - Child Molester

MOUNT PLEASANT -- A Mount Pleasant man is staring at a lengthy prison term under sentencing guidelines prescribed under Michigan's version of "Jessica's Law."

A jury deliberated for 90 minutes before returning guilty verdicts against Alan B. Corbin, the 46-year-old Mount Pleasant man charged with sexually abusing an 8-year-old girl.

The jury convicted Corbin on all five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and five counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct related to abuse that occurred in 2006 and 2007, said Isabella County Prosecutor Larry J. Burdick.

First-degree sexual abuse involves penetration while second-degree involves touching.
"During the three-day trial, the prosecution presented not only the testimony of the victim, but that of three other witnesses who testified as to sexual assaults by Corbin against them," Burdick said. "These assaults began as long as 26 years ago in Tennessee."

Burdick brought in witnesses from Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

"Jurors also heard a videotaped statement made by Corbin to police, in which he admitted sexual contact with the victims," the prosecutor said. "He indicated that he knew it was wrong but that the victims, in his opinion, initiated the contact."

Corbin's victims were 6 to 10 years old at the time of the attacks.

Corbin, formerly a physician's assistant in Mount Pleasant and a Central Michigan University faculty member, must return to Isabella County Trial Court for sentencing at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, March 7.

Each first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges carries a penalty of up to life in prison. Each second-degree charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 15 years behind bars.

"Because several of the convictions for first-degree criminal sexual conduct involve assaults which occurred in 2007, the penalty to be applied to those convictions mandate a minimum sentence of at least 25 years in prison," Burdick said.

The mandatory minimum sentence results from the passage of Public Act 169 in 2006, which was part of a nationwide legislative response to serious crimes committed against children, commonly known as Jessica's Law.

To date, 33 states have enacted some form of the law named for Jessica Marie Lundsford, the 9-year-old Florida girl whom John Evander Couey, a 46-year-old convicted sex offender, abducted and killed in 2005.

In commenting on the verdict, Burdick acknowledged the courage of the victims "who endured the daunting experience of testifying in court about their abuse."

He also mentioned the hard work of Sheriff's Detective Dan Denslow, who launched the investigation in June, and Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Risa Scully, who supervised the case and prosecuted Corbin.

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