ESCANABA - A 20-year-old Bark River man will be sentenced next month in connection with the sexual assault of a female juvenile last year.
Alec Jeffery VanEnkevort pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct by force or coercion during a plea hearing in Delta County Circuit Court last week.
The high-court misdemeanor carries a maximum punishment of two years incarceration and a $500 fine.
VanEnkevort was arrested for sexually assaulting the girl during an incident in Wells Township last February. He was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year felony.
VanEnkevort's trial was scheduled to start on Tuesday this week but was cancelled last Thursday when he pleaded to the high-court misdemeanor of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. He is scheduled for sentencing on Feb. 22.
Michigan State Police were made aware of the assault on Feb. 7, 2012, when officials from OSF St. Francis Hospital notified the Gladstone Post. After interviewing the girl at the hospital, police located and arrested VanEnkevort the following day. He was lodged in the county jail and later released after posting ten percent of a $50,000 cash bond.
During VanEnkevort's preliminary examination in district court last year, a trooper testified the defendant admitted during an interview with police that he had nonconsensual sex with the girl and she did not give him permission to have sex with her.
Troopers were assisted in the investigation by the Delta County Sheriff Department and Escanaba Public Safety.