Craig Pakosz

Craig Pakosz, at lectern, is seen during his sentencing hearing Friday in 35th Circuit Court in Corunna. 

CORUNNA — A fired-up Judge Matthew Stewart sentenced an Owosso man to three decades behind bars Friday in 35th Circuit Court for choking and sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend while she was unconscious.

“Many cases describe consecutive sentencing as strong medicine,” Stewart told Craig Pakosz before sentencing. “You’ve earned every drop.”

Stewart then sentenced Pakosz, 42, to consecutive sentences totaling 29 years, four months to 51 years, nine months in prison for one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm (strangulation). Pakosz was credited with 178 days served. Stewart also ordered lifetime electronic monitoring, sex offender registration, and sexual offender treatment while serving his sentence.

Pakosz was charged after an incident in August 2019, in which he choked his ex-girlfriend to the point of losing consciousness, before sexually assaulting her.

He was arraigned on the charges Aug. 2, 2019, in 66th District Court by Judge Terrance Dignan; he pleaded not guilty. Court records do not indicate the amount bond was set at, but Pakosz posted a bond and was free until he was charged with one misdemeanor count of drunk and disorderly in October 2019. His bond was revoked and Pakosz received a 30-day jail term for that case. He has been incarcerated since that time while awaiting disposition of the case. He was convicted by a jury in about an hour last month after a three-day trial in circuit court.

Assistant Prosecutor Scott Koerner asked the court to exceed sentencing guidelines in the case due to the “brutal” nature of the assault. “He is a menace,” Koerner said. “I hope the court sends him to prison for a long time.”

The victim gave an emotional impact statement Friday, telling the court Pakosz is “a monster in (her) eyes.” The Argus-Press does not typically identify victims of sexual assault.

“I only hope someday he has remorse for what he did to me,” she said, adding she still suffers psychological issues from the assault. “One day, I hope to forgive you. Not today, and not any time soon, but one day I can move on.”

Defense counsel Adam Pfeiffer said Pakosz was “not a hardened criminal,” and asked Stewart to take that into consideration.

In a short statement, Pakosz maintained his innocence, and accused the victim of fabricating the events to “ruin his life.”

“I want you to know I did not do these things that have been said about myself,” Pakosz said. “(The victim) knows what she is doing. She ruined my life. She should be ashamed of herself for doing this.”

“You think the best way to elocute on the day of sentencing is to call the victim a liar?” Stewart asked. “All right… The court finds in this case consecutive sentencing is appropriate… You can shake your head all day, but I have a job to do and I need to get through this. Best of luck to you, sir.”

Barring a successful appeal in his case, Pakosz will be eligible for parole when he is 71 years old.

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