ROGERS CITY - A Hawks man convicted of molesting his girlfriend's teenage daughter will serve at least 22 years in prison.
On Monday, a 53rd Circuit Court judge sentenced Jeremiah Allen Dewey to 22 to 40 years in prison for four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and 13 to 25 years for another count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The sentences are a departure from the guidelines, and Presque Isle County Prosecutor Richard Steiger said he believes the prison term Judge Scott Pavlich handed down is appropriate.
"I think a child molester should face the same penalty as (first-degree murder), that being life without parole," he said. "However, given the status of our laws today, I am pleased with the sentence the judge imposed in this matter."
Dewey, 36, was convicted of the four counts in July and the single count in June. A jury found him guilty of repeatedly sodomizing a young girl in 2004 and 2005, then molesting the same girl once in 2013.
Dewey was also accused of inappropriately touching his own daughter, and was scheduled for a third trial later this month. However, Steiger said in July that he opted to withdraw the charges to spare the child from having to testify in another trial. His office may consider refiling charges at a later date.
The victim who testified in the first two trials also spoke Monday, and told the court how Dewey's actions had affected her life and that of her siblings, Steiger said. Steiger told the court Dewey's actions were "reprehensible and disgusting," and that he hoped the girls could move on.
"I am glad we were able to bring some closure for this young lady and her sister so they can continue on with life, and hopefully through proper counseling put this matter behind them to the best of their abilities," he said.
Steiger said he asked Pavlich to exceed sentencing guidelines because of the way Dewey treated his girlfriend's daughter, among several other reasons. Pavlich agreed, and went beyond guidelines that originally called for 70 months to 25 years for the single count and 18 years, nine months to 25 years for the four counts.
The sentences run concurrently, meaning Dewey won't be eligible for parole for 22 years, minus the 75 days he served after charges were filed. Dewey was also credited with 259 days served for the single count of criminal sexual conduct.
Patrick Crowley, Dewey's attorney, said he was not present Monday and had no comment on the sentence. Attempts to reach Jacob Sartz, Dewey's co-counsel, were unsuccessful.