CORUNNA — A Roscommon County man was sentenced Thursday to a minimum of 25 years in prison by 35th Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart for engaging in a sexual act in August 2019 with a 12-year-old boy at a hotel in Durand and filming it on his phone.
Michael Clune, 50, was sentenced to the prison for one count each of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and child sexual abusive material. Each of those counts was enhanced by a habitual offender-second notice due to a prior similar conviction. He was also ordered to pay court costs and fines and must undergo lifetime electronic monitoring if he is ever released from prison. Clune was credited with 218 days served.
“It is this court’s sincerest hope that you are never, ever given another opportunity to re-offend,” Stewart told Clune after handing down the sentence.
Clune’s case was prosecuted by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, due to several charges in three counties. At Thursday’s hearing, assistant attorney general Robert Hayes asked the court to abide by a sentencing agreement that restricted the terms Stewart could impose (no consecutive sentencing). Stewart said the court had “a great deal of trouble” abiding by the agreement between the AG’s office and defense counsel, but would not interfere.
Hayes read from a statement from the then-12-year-old victim’s mother, who wept intermittently as Hayes read her statement, which described problems the victim has had since the incident. The statement urged Stewart to impose the maximum prison term allowable.
The Argus-Press does not typically identify victims of sexually-related crimes.
“I seek justice for a crime committed against (the victim),” the statement said. “It is like a nightmare that never ends. My child has had many sleepless nights, afraid to go to sleep, afraid with anxiety … He has feelings of isolation from his peers and family members as he tries to have normal relationships with his peers … Our entire family feels broken. I’m requesting this court sentence the defendant to the maximum sentence. Let not one more child, not one more family experience the nightmare my son and my family face every day.”
Defense attorney John Ryan simply asked the court to honor the sentencing agreement.
Clune breathed heavily and kept his eyes closed throughout the hearing until he gave a statement to the court. He asked for mental health treatment while he serves his sentence.
“I am aware that I am a predator,” Clune said. “That is not something I ever wanted to be … I have grappled with personal demons for many years. And I’m aware that I have irreparably damaged a child in the formative years of his life. No apologies I can make will change that. I have further victimized not only that child, but everyone that loves that child.”
Clune admitted at a March 5 plea hearing to communicating via the Grindr dating app and then meeting the boy in August 2019 at a hotel in Durand and engaging in a sexual act. He admitted to recording the encounter on his phone.
In return for his plea, prosecutors dismissed one count of using a computer to commit a crime.
In 2003, Clune was convicted of two counts of third-degree CSC (victim 13-15) in Wayne County, and served seven years in prison for that offense.
Clune also was charged by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office in October 2020 with at least 12 other sex-related felonies in Clare and Roscommon counties, including first-degree CSC, aggravated child sexually abusive activity, using a computer to commit a crime, sodomy, CSC-3 and accosting a child for immoral purposes.
In the Roscommon County case, Clune admitted on the record to using the internet to communicate with multiple boys under the age of 15 and coercing them to send him child sexually abusive material. The Michigan State Police executed a search warrant at Clune’s residence in Roscommon County and seized electronic devices which confirmed Clune’s crimes.
He pleaded guilty in April in Roscommon County to one count of child sexually abusive activity and one count of using a computer to communicate with another for the purpose of child sexually abusive activity, both felonies punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Clune is scheduled to be sentenced on those charges in Roscommon County May 18.
Additional charges against Clune are pending in Clare County for third-degree criminal sexual conduct, sodomy, accosting a minor for immoral purpose and using a computer to commit a crime.