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Rigot gets 10 years in sex assault case

News Photo by Julie Riddle Michael Rigot, convicted of sexually assaulting a minor in Presque Isle County, stands for sentencing during a videoconferenced sentencing hearing this morning.

ROGERS CITY — Michael Rigot, of Onaway, will spend at least 10 years in prison — and his sentencing judge wishes that number could be higher.

Rigot, convicted of sexually assaulting two girls in 2016 and 2017, made neither a statement nor an apology before his sentencing in the 53rd Circuit Court in Presque Isle County today.

Rigot maintains he is innocent of the 16 counts of third-degree criminal sexual assault for which he was found guilty during a four-day jury trial in August.

The jury was convinced Rigot had an ongoing sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl, but was not persuaded he had raped a 12-year-old, dismissing charges of first-degree sexual assault which could have earned him 25 years in prison.

The jury agreed Rigot was guilty of touching the 12-year-old girl for sexual purposes.

The News does not name victims of sexual assault.

Judge Aaron Gauther said today the testimony of the victims had been compelling and credible, and their behavior on the stand was consistent with people who had suffered abuse.

“And that abuse was at your hands,” Gauther told the defendant. “There’s no doubt in my mind that you committed these crimes, Mr. Rigot.”

Sentencing guidelines allow for a minimum sentence of no more than 10 years, Gauthier said — guidelines that don’t take into account that Rigot had two victims, both children, the judge added.

“Frankly, you deserve more time,” Gauthier said.

Rigot plans to appeal his conviction.

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