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      Former principal sentenced for sex crime

      The former principal facing sexual conduct charges with a student will be going to prison for five to fifteen years.

      "Ben has shown countless forms of arrogance and selfish thinking," said the victim, preceding the sentencing.

      The victim added that the former principal "manipulated" her.

      Benjamin Franklin II, 35, was the principal of Munising Baptist Church in Wetmore, Michigan. He resigned in March when the charges were brought forward. He was released on bond after his arrest, however, he was taken back into custody in June after attempting to contact his victim.

      The victim's mother also made a statement in court, calling Franklin a porn addict, claiming they warned him to stay away from their daughter or they would come forward. She also said in court that her daughter was the second victim and begged the judge to exert the maximum punishment allowable.

      "You took her school, her church, her friends, her innocence and her virginity," stated the angry mother.

      "'While I know the relationship was wrong, I did pursue Ben as well, and he did not force me to do anything,'" read the statement defense attorney Karl Numinen read aloud in court Wednesday morning regarding his client from the student he had sexual relations with. He asked the wording in the court reports be changed that stated the former principal aggressively pursued the victim.

      "He accepted responsibility and essentially confessed," said Numinen. "My client's family is here, who supports him, but believe me, 36 months in prison is a harsh punishment."

      However, the prosecutor seemed to have a different perspective.

      "I will give credit to the defendant for the one positive, but the negatives are just abound," responded prosecuting attorney Karen Bahrman. "He had so many opportunities to walk away but just kept coming back. This isn't a one time thing; there was another woman who came forward but wasn't willing to take action."

      Franklin also faces $500 in court fines.

      Beth Cefalu was in court for the sentencing, and she will have video and reactions from the courtroom on the TV6 Early News at 6 p.m.