CADILLAC — A 29-year-old Cadillac man already in prison was arraigned recently in Wexford County's 28th Circuit Court for his alleged connection with a criminal sexual conduct incident involving a minor.
James Thomas Houghton was charged with two counts of first-degree CSC, a person under 13 and defendant 17 or older, for his connection with an incident on March 15 in Haring Township. Houghton was arraigned via teleconference from Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center after it was alleged he violated his parole and he was returned to prison.
A habitual offender fourth offense notice was added to the charges.
If convicted, Houghton faces up to life in prison on both CSC charges and due to the habitual offender fourth offense enhancement.
The charges are merely an accusation and not evidence of guilt. Houghton is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. The prosecution has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Wexford County Prosecutor Jason Elmore said he couldn't speak about this current case, but did say Houghton was most recently convicted of operating while intoxicated third offense on Oct. 26, 2018. He was sentenced in December 2018 to 16 months-5 years in prison with credit for time served. Houghton was paroled on Oct. 22, 2019, and was scheduled to be off of parole on April 22, 2021, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections Offender Tracking Information System.
A $10,000 cash or surety bond was continued by the court even though Houghton was in prison on the parole violation.