CSC defendant rejects offer, seeks trial

James Briggs, left, appears at a plea hearing Thursday morning in 35th Circuit Court in Corunna.

CORUNNA — An Owosso man will take his case for felony criminal sexual conduct to trial after rejecting a plea offer from the prosecutor’s office at hearing Thursday in 35th Circuit Court.

James Briggs, 32, is accused of one count of third-degree and one count of fourth-degree CSC for an incident that allegedly occurred in March 2019. He was arrested Oct. 3, 2019, and arraigned on the charges the same day before 66th District Court Judge Terrance Dignan; he pleaded not guilty.

Court records indicate Briggs posted a $2,000 cash/surety bond Oct. 7, 2019, and has been free since that time while awaiting disposition of the charges.

At Thursday’s hearing, prosecutor Scott Koerner told Judge Matthew Stewart his office had offered a plea agreement that would recommend sentencing guidelines of zero to 18 months incarceration.

As part of the proposed agreement, prosecutors would have dismissed the fourth-degree CSC count, and Briggs would have pleaded guilty to the third-degree CSC charge only.

Defense attorney Adam Pfeiffer then stated that his client would not accept the offer, and Stewart scheduled a jury trial in circuit court for Jan. 28.

Briggs has a 2007 misdemeanor conviction for disturbing the peace that was reduced from a driving with a suspended license, as well as numerous minor traffic-related infractions.

In Michigan, CSC-3 is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, and CSC-4 a high court misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison.

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