Man sentenced to 6 to 10 years in prison for child abuse, faces new charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct

JACKSON, MI – A 44-year-old father of 14 is going to prison for at least six years for allowing some of his children to visit the home of a known sex offender.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Thomas Wilson sentenced Randy Stevens on Thursday, Jan. 2, to six to 10 years in prison for second-degree child abuse.

He could see a longer sentence if convicted on new, separate charges he sexually abused a girl, now 15. He was charged in December with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony punishable by up to life in prison, and the case is pending in district court.

Stevens pleaded guilty to the child abuse offense in November. He said he only admitted to letting his children visit Geoffrey Friant, now serving 30 to 80 years in prison for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, but the allegations were more wide-spread.

He was accused of involving the kids in criminal activity, coaching his sons on what to tell questioning authorities, and conceded to the judge on Thursday that he allowed his children to steal items. His wife, Bobbi Jo Stevens, 37, told detectives she was aware her children participated in arson and Randy Stevens had them to steal a generator and car stereos, according to a court record related to the eight children the couple had in their care before child protection workers had them removed. Randy Stevens, biological father to six of them, has surrendered his parental rights. Eight of his children are adults.

“This is far more than ‘I made a bad decision’ or ‘I made a bad choice,’” Assistant Prosecutor Jake Dickerson said. “It looks like he was regularly engaged in his own little criminal enterprise.”

Stevens knew Friant was a registered sex offender, and despite this, he not only permitted his children to see Friant, he bought a vehicle for Friant to transport them around town, Wilson said.

Wilson said this makes Stevens look like a “sick individual.”

“I bought a vehicle. It wasn’t bought for him,” responded Stevens, who denies many allegations.

He accused his 14-year-old stepson of lying about Friant and said the warrants obtained in his case were “tainted.”

Friant, a sex offender since the 1970s, was not convicted of sexually abusing any of Stevens’ children, but he has been called a “serial predator” with more alleged victims than his criminal record reflects.

Stevens conceded some wrongdoing, but cast blame on his wife. He said he made himself “look bad to take some of the heat off her.” She pleaded guilty to in July to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a misdemeanor, and agreed to testify against her husband. The children often were with their mother because Randy Stevens, who uses an oxygen tank, has frequently been in the hospital, Randy Stevens said.

Wilson, agreeing with Dickerson, ruled Randy Stevens was the leader. It is clear he was running the show, Dickerson said.

“I did fail as a parent, yes I did, and I do not say that lightly, sir,” Randy Stevens told Wilson.

His lawyer, Phillip Berkemeier, said Stevens was not making good decisions at the time of his crime because of his drinking and drug abuse.

His wife told a detective he used a “couple $100 worth of cocaine” every day and sold the drug to support his habit.

Stevens said he is “one the road to recovery.”

“My client has not had an easy or pretty life and he is not proud of much of what happened in his past,” Berkemeier said.

A charge of arson, filed against Stevens in January 2013, has been dismissed. Randy Stevens said he was merely at the scene of a September 2011 fire at 627 Fairyland Ave. Wilson ordered him to pay more than $3,300 in restitution related to the fire because the judge said he was there when it began.

Stevens was arraigned on the new charges on Dec. 20. Court records list the offense date as Oct. 18, 2012. Berkemeier said Stevens denies the charges.

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One thought on “Man sentenced to 6 to 10 years in prison for child abuse, faces new charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct

  1. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/09/norwalk-math-tutor.html

    http://www.sgvtribune.com/technology/20111114/victim-13-pleads-in-bellflower-court-to-give-convicted-molester-what-he-deserves

    http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?id=8347625

    BELLFLOWER — A 13-year-old molestation victim pleaded with a judge Monday to give Kumon Math & Reading teacher who molested her “what he deserves.”

    “I’m not confident, I’m not comfortable socializing with anybody and it’s hard to trust people,” said the girl, whose name was withheld because she is a victim of a sex crime by her Kumon teacher.

    Her statement came at the sentencing of her attacker, Frank Chung, a 63-year-old local man who molested her and allegedly two other girls at his Norwalk Kumon Math & Reading tutoring business.

    “I just want what he deserves,” the victim calmly but quietly told Bellflower Superior Court Judge Leland Tipton moments before Chung was sentenced to eight years in prison.

    The 13-year-old victim is one of three girls who told authorities they were attacked by Chung at the Kumon Tutoring Center, and she was the first victim to come forward, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Detective Rudy Acevedo.

    Chung was arrested Sept. 8, and charged with lewd acts with a minor based on the allegation he molested the 13-year-old on a number of occasions at the Kumon learning center.

    When news of his arrest broke, the other two victims came forward and additional counts were added to the charge, Acevedo said.

    As part of a plea agreement reached last month, Chung pleaded no contest to a single count related to the first victim in exchange for eight years behind bars.

    Defense Attorney Rayford Fountain noted at sentencing that his client received a number of letters of support from colleagues and friends and asked the prosecution and the court to consider lowering the sentence time.

    “Many people have stood up for him,” Fountain said.

    Deputy District Attorney Nicole Vo said all the mitigating circumstances were taken into consideration when the eight-year plea deal was offered and therefore it would not be reduced.

    The prosecutor explained outside the courtroom eight years is the maximum allowed by law for the one count. She also noted Chung will have to serve the time in state prison and he must serve at least 85 percent of the time before he can be considered eligible for parole.

    The plea, she and the detective said, was effective in a number of ways.

    “I think he accepted responsibility very early in the proceedings and … we’re seeing a resolution that includes state prison time and he will have to register as a sex offender for life,” Vo said.

    Acevedo added the early resolution also spares the victims the difficulty of testifying in trial.

    “The benefit of the plea isn’t for the defendant, it’s for the victims,” he said.

    Upon his release, Chung will be placed on three years parole and the charge, considered a violent sexual offense, leaves a strike on Chung’s record, said Acevedo, who is assigned to the Special Victims Bureau.

    The defendant is the owner of the Kumon Learning Center and worked there for five years with children providing after-school Kumon Math & Reading tutoring, according to the criminal complaint.

    He worked in a similar capacity at Kumon learning centers in Northern California for the past 25 years, bringing him in contact with countless children, detectives said.

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