No contest plea in sexual assault case

ESCANABA — A Bark River man who pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting a young girl several times for more than four years in Delta County on Wednesday will be sentenced in April.

Dale William Beauchamp Jr., 31, turned himself in to law enforcement on Jan. 4 after a warrant was issued for his arrest on one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a person under 13 years.

The 15-year felony stemmed from an investigation into several sexual assault incidents that occurred between Jan. 1, 2012, to July 26, 2016, according to Michigan State Police from the Gladstone Post. During that time period, the victim was five to 10 years old.

According to the police report, the girl said Beauchamp had sexually assaulted her several times and he told her not to tell her parents about the incidents.

During Wednesday’s hearing in Delta County Circuit Court, Beauchamp pleaded no contest to one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct by force or coercion and pleaded no contest to one count of aggravated indecent exposure.

Each charge is a high-court misdemeanor punishable by up to two years behind bars. Conviction on each count requires a defendant to register as a sexual offender.

Beauchamp’s sentencing is scheduled for April 9 in circuit court.

In exchange for Beauchamp’s pleas Wednesday, the prosecution agreed to dismiss the original charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct as part of the plea agreement.

Prior to adjourning the plea hearing, Judge John Economopoulos denied a motion from the defense requesting a bond reduction.

Beauchamp remains lodged in the county jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash or surety bond. He was ordered to have no contact with the victim and anyone 13 years old or younger.