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      Appeals court rules on sex offender sentencing

      The State of Michigan Court of Appeals has remanded a sex offender for resentencing following an appeal made by the prosecution.

      Francis Steven Mineau, the defendant, resides in a residence located approximately 191 feet from an elementary school. In 1999, Mineau was convicted of indecent exposure involving two young girls who were walking to school. He was required to register as a sex offender.

      In 2005, the legislature amending the Sexual Offenders Registration Act was amended to define any residence within 1,000 feet of a school to be a "student safety zone." The amendment stated that no registered sex offender shall reside within a safety zone. However it was determined that since he was residing within that zone prior to January 1, 2006, he was not required to vacate his residence. In 2011, Mineau was removed from the sex offender registry.

      On May 15, 2012, Mineau exposed himself to elementary school children who were passing his house in a school bus. He pleaded guilty to aggravated indecent exposure and was required again to register as a sex offender. The defendant was sentenced to probation subject to a number of conditions, including installing an opaque fence around his property. The prosecutor argued that the defendant should be required to vacate his residence from the student safety zone, but the trial court concluded that since he resided there before January 1, 2006, he could not be ordered to vacate.

      The appeal was made stating that the established residency exception did not apply to him, since he initiated or maintained contact with a minor within that safety zone. The Court of Appeals agreed with the appeal, reversed the trial court's order, and remanded the defendant for resentencing with the added term of vacating his residence.

      For the full report from the Court of Appeals, click here.