CORUNNA — A Durand man was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison Friday by 35th Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in May 2022.
Caleb Kimsel received the sentence for one count of first-degree and two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, and must also register as a sex offender. Additionally, Kimsel must undergo sex offender counseling while serving his sentence, and must be electronically monitored for life. Kimsel was credited with 171 days served.
Stewart told Kimsel that while serving his sentence, he wanted him to think about the consequences of his actions, not only for himself but for the victim as well.
“For just a couple of moments of selfish gratification, you’ve caused this child a lifetime of pain,” Stewart said. “And it’s just not her that you hurt. Sex offenders, I don’t think they understand the depth of trauma that their actions cause, because she’s going to need help for the rest of her life. She will never, ever forget what you did to her… It’s going to affect people she hasn’t even met yet … It’s generational and it’s a ripple effect. She will not recover. She will never be the same. Is it worth it? It’s not, is it?”
Defense attorney Robert Hinojosa asked the court to fashion a sentence that included rehabilitation, since Kimsel will likely get out of prison at some point. He pointed out that Kimsel had no prior felony convictions prior to this case.
“We respect the process. We respect the outcome,” Hinojosa said. “The jury has spoken in this matter.”
Shiawassee County Prosecutor Scott Koerner disagreed, asking Stewart to impose consecutive sentencing which would have bumped up Kimsel’s minimum sentence to over 20 years.
“This defendant was trusted by the family and the victim herself,” Koerner said. “No amount of prison time can make up for the sorrow and the loss of the victim and her family will continue to experience.”
Kimsel apologized in a short statement, saying that he didn’t understand the reasons for his actions, and asked for forgiveness.
“I made a terrible mistake,” Kimsel told Stewart. “It was a one-time mistake. I hurt an innocent girl. I don’t know why I made that terrible choice … I have no excuse for it. One-hundred percent my fault.”
The victim and her mother gave victim’s impact statements in which they described changes in the victim since the assault, such as becoming withdrawn, missing school and having panic attacks.
A jury took about an hour to convict Kimsel at his trial last month of the three felony CSC charges. He was acquitted on one additional count of second-degree CSC.
During the trial, the victim testified that Kimsel and his ex-girlfriend Samantha Fall lured her into their Durand residence’s bedroom during a sleepover, where Kimsel sexually assaulted her.
Fall pleaded guilty to reduced CSC counts for her role in the incident. As part of that plea agreement with prosecutor’s, Fall was required to testify against Kimsel at his trial. She was sentenced to at least 38 months in prison earlier this month by Stewart. Kimsel also has a pending felonious assault charge in which Fall was the alleged victim.
According to court records, the victim reported the assault to police approximately 9 months after it occurred, and Michigan State Police opened an investigation.
The Argus-Press does not typically identify victims of sexual assault.
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