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Teens in sexting case must give up phones for a year

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Three male teens from Chesterfield Township were sentenced Wednesday to at least one year without cellphones after they pleaded guilty to distributing by phone pictures of a sexual act involving a 15-year-old girl.

Ryan Anthony Modaffare and Gregory Alan Kwapik, both 17, and Nicholas Gene Kelly, 18, were sentenced in Macomb County Circuit Court before Judge James Biernat, Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Jean Cloud said.

The teens were sentenced to three years without cellphone usage, but can petition the court to gain access to the devices after one year.

The teens are prohibited from contacting each other or the victim, said Cloud, who added Kwapik and Kelly also were ordered to a sex offender treatment program.

But the teens will not have to register as sex offenders and if they stay out of trouble during probation, they will have their records wiped clean under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, Cloud said.

“It allows that individual to have a second chance by completing terms of probation,” she said.

An attorney for Kwapik said Thursday the teens did not “get off easy” despite a lack of jail time.

“They did receive some probationary terms that are not easy to abide by,” Timothy Doty said. “My client displayed remorse immediately from the day his parents called me. He didn’t take this lightly at all, and he’s not going to take it lightly in the future.”

The sentences come after the teens entered guilty pleas last month.

Modaffare pleaded guilty to felony distribution of child sexually abusive activity, which carries up to seven years in prison. Kwapik pleaded guilty to felony third-degree criminal sexual conduct, which carries up to 15 years in prison. Kelly pleaded guilty to one count of both charges.

Kwapik did not face sex offender registration due to the “Romeo and Juliet” law enacted in 2011, Cloud said. The law exempts an offender from the registry if the victim is 13- to 16-years-old, the offender is no more than five years older, and the act was voluntary.

Modaffare and Kelly faced being added to the registry due to the distribution charge, Cloud said.

The investigation began when the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office received a report from a L’Anse Creuse High School North student that she discovered a photo online of two students engaging in sexual activity, police said. The photo was posted on one of the student’s social media account.

During an investigation, detectives learned that around Thanksgiving four male students went to the home of a 15-year-old female student.

“While visiting the home, two of the male students engaged in a sexual act with the 15-year-old,” the sheriff’s office said in a January press release. “A third male student took a photograph while one of the sexual acts was taking place. That student sent the message to others, and it was eventually posted on one of the student’s Twitter account.”

hfournier@detroitnews.com

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