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Appeals court denies man’s request for lighter sentence

ROGERS CITY — A Hawks man’s appeal of the sentence that put him in prison for at least 22 years was rejected by the Michigan Court of Appeals last week.

Jeremiah Dewey, who was found guilty in 2014 of criminal sexual assault in two separate trials, twice challenged a judge’s decision to exceed guidelines in sentencing him to up to 40 years behind bars.

Dewey was sentenced to 22 to 40 years in prison for four charges of sexually assaulting the victim as a child. He was also given 13 to 15 years, to be served at the same time, for a single count of sexally assaulting the same victim when she was a teenager.

The News does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Guidelines called for 70 months to 25 years for the single count and between 18 years, nine months and 25 years for the multiple counts.

Dewey appealed the sentences. In February 2016, the Court of Appeals sent the case back to Presque Isle County for resentencing by Judge Scott Pavlich. After a review, Pavlich said he saw no problem with the sentences and imposed them a second time.

A second petition to a higher court, again challenging the higher-than-recommended sentence, resulted last week in an opinion from the Court of Appeals stating the judge’s decision was valid and would stand.

A pre-sentencing report, developed based on the specific details of the case, is used by judges as a guideline for deciding an appropriate sentence.

Judges are required to take the sentencing guidelines into consideration, but are not required to follow them. They may weigh such factors as the seriousness of the offense, the relationship between the victim and the defendant, the defendant’s expression of remorse, the defendant’s potential for rehabilitation, or the defendant’s behavior while in custody.

When resentencing, Pavlich stood by his decision that Dewey merited a higher sentence because of the repeated sexual abuse over a period of years, resumed at a later point in the victim’s life, for which he was convicted.

A deviation from the sentencing guidelines was also justified by the infliction of an incurable sexually transmitted disease, the appeals court said.

As part of the most recent appeal, Dewey referenced suppressed evidence, conflicts of interest, misconduct by court officers and the prosecutor, ineffective counsel, jury tampering, and malicious prosecution and conspiracy as having contaminated his trials.

None of those issues, however, were raised before the local court or during the first appeal, and Dewey gave no proof for the allegations in his most recent appeal, the appeals court said.

Julie Riddle can be reached at 989-358-5693, jriddle@thealpenanews.com or on Twitter @jriddleX.

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