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Wexford County man sentenced to prison for sex crimes

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A Wexford County man has been sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting two minors, the Michigan Attorney General's Office announced Monday. 

Nathan Helsel was sentenced Oct. 6 to five to 15 years in prison and lifetime sex offender registration following plea deals in two cases earlier this year, investigators said in a statement.

The charges stem from incidents between September 2018 and July 2019 in Wexford County’s Cedar Creek Township. 

Helsel pleaded guilty in July to one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a person between the ages of 13 and 15, a felony carrying up to 15 years in prison, authorities said.

As part of the pleas, four charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and a count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct were dismissed at sentencing, state officials said.

The Manton resident also pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, multiple variables, carrying up to 15 years in prison at sentencing. Another charge, fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, was dropped as part of the plea. 

The plea deals allow for the 26-year-old's two sentences to be served concurrently, officials said.

“Sexual assaults are serious crimes and my office will not shy away from holding these predators accountable for their actions,” said Dana Nessel, Michigan's attorney general.

“I am proud of the work my prosecutors have done to bring a swift resolution to this case, and one that ensures prison time for the defendant, and I am grateful for the victims, who showed tremendous bravery and strength in coming forward to speak out against these crimes. They displayed great courage in a difficult situation and we must all do what we can to ensure criminal acts like these do not go unpunished.”