CADILLAC — A 17-year-old Manton teen was sentenced as an adult on a criminal sexual conduct-related charge in Wexford County’s 28th Circuit Court.

Steven Michael Nieuwenhuis was sentenced to serve 60 days in jail with four days credit for a no contest plea to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, force or coercion, for his connection with an incident on Dec. 10, 2020, in Manton. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as one at sentencing. It also permits the court to determine guilt from the review of the police report.

As part of the sentence, he also was ordered to pay $1,248 in fines and fees and given 36 months of probation.

During the sentencing, 28th Circuit Court Judge Jason Elmore said he had concerns regarding Nieuwenhuis and his case for a couple of reasons. He said the teen has had cases multiple cases in the system for some time and he has been given opportunity after opportunity.

While Elmore admitted that he believes the State of Michigan is failing the teen and his family by not having a spot in a juvenile treatment facility to place him, the court was required to sentence him as an adult due to the waivers that were filed at the probate level regarding this case.

Nieuwenhuis was originally charged in Wexford County’s Probate Court, but the case was moved to the circuit court after a two-phase waiver to have it brought to the circuit court was submitted.

According to state law, if a juvenile 14 years of age or older is accused of an act that if committed by an adult would be a felony, the judge of the family division of circuit court in the county in which the offense is alleged to have been committed may waive jurisdiction upon motion of the prosecuting attorney.

After waiver, the juvenile may be tried in the court having general criminal jurisdiction of the offense. This process included a hearing before the waiver was granted.

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