Lawrence B. Woods, the retired Flint police officer facing 16 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, has pled guilty to the crimes he has been accused of. They are the sexual assault of children in Genesee County and also the creation of child pornography.
A news release from the Flint Police Department stated that on Tuesday, June 7th, Woods pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct – person under 13, and eight counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct – multiple variables. Michigan law requires a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 25 years in prison for a CSC conviction with a child under 13.
The investigation began in the summer of 2014 after a victim came forward and alleged that they had been sexually assaulted by Woods during his time as a sergeant in the Flint Police force. The assault had taken place almost 20 years before it was reported but the department immediately started looking into the allegations.
Once the investigation was made public, more and more Flint area victims came forward with their stories.
Woods was arrested and charged in September of 2014. During a search of Woods’ house, police found hundreds of pornographic photos, most of them involving children. Woods is accused of making the child pornography both at his home and in hotel rooms around Genesee County. More than fifty victims were identified from photographs found in Wood’s home.
According to a spokesperson at the Flint Police Department, all of the incidents of sexual assault occurred while Woods was on active duty as an officer and took place during his shifts. Victim statements have led investigators to believe that the assaults took place in a variety of Michigan locations, which included Wood’s former home, assorted hotel rooms, police vehicles, and also inside the Flint Police Department itself.
According to a statement released by the Flint Police Department, officers are “disgusted” by what Woods has done. “His crimes victimized numerous citizens of the community that it is our duty to protect and serve.” it stated, and then went on in support of the victims who have come forward, saying, “We commend the brave victims who came forward, allowing the Flint Police Department Criminal Investigations Bureau to investigate these crimes and remove this criminal from our streets.” Woods retired from the Flint PD in 2002, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 18, 2016.
Our attorneys would like to remind our readers that, while 20 years is a long time to wait to report a crime, under Michigan law certain crimes have no statute of limitations. This means that they can be reported at any time, and can subsequently be prosecuted, regardless of how long it has been since they occurred. In Michigan, this includes murder, criminal sexual conduct (CSC) in the first degree and violations of the Michigan anti-terrorism act, among other crimes. You can read more at www.SexCrimeAttorneys.com