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2007- The Michigan Attorney General’s Office created presentations by the Cyber Safety Initiative that would be shown to students in kindergarten to eighth grade. These presentations talk about general Internet safety, dangers of revealing personal information online, and recognizing Internet predator grooming techniques. In 2011, the presentation was expanded to include cyberbullying and sexting.
2009- The Michigan Educational Technology Standards incorporate the Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative (CSI) into classrooms and students are expected to know CSI’s three rules by the end of the second grade.
2010- The State Board of Education Model Anti-Bullying Policy was updated from its 2001 version in November. This model anti-bullying policy is a sample for school districts on what to include in their own policy. Some aspects of the policy include the definitions of bullying and harassment, suggestions for annual training for school employees and volunteers, and examples of discipline for bullies.
2013- Michigan Legislature adopted Section 21f of the State School Aid Act which expanded alternative education to include different options for online learning. Public school students in grades 6-12 are now allowed to take up to two courses per term online without a special waiver. Students could take advantage of this opportunity beginning in January 2014.
2016- In February, Michigan joined the US Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign which urges districts to use openly-licensed resources in teaching, learning, and assessing. Open Education Resources (OERs) are materials freely available online, and examples include courses, videos/images/audio, teaching activities and games, and are designed to replace traditional textbooks so schools can use their budget elsewhere. Michigan is currently looking for school districts that are interested in becoming #GoOpen districts. They would be required to (1) identify a team to develop an OER implementation strategy, (2) replace at least one traditional textbook with openly-licensed educational materials, and (3) document and share their implementation process.
This section contains details of the state’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.
The age of consent in Michigan is 16 years of age.
In Michigan, sentencing for felony and misdemeanor crimes is as follows, unless otherwise stated within an individual section:
- Class A: incurs a maximum jail sentencing of life in prison, or any number of years as determined by a judge.
- Class B: incurs a maximum jail sentencing of up to 20 years in prison.
- Class C: incurs a maximum jail sentencing of up to 15 years in prison.
- Class D: incurs a maximum jail sentencing of up to 10 years in prison.
- Class E: incurs a maximum jail sentencing of up to 5 years in prison.
- Class F: incurs a maximum jail sentencing of up to 4 years in prison.
- Class G: incurs a maximum jail sentencing of 2 years in prison.
- Class H: options include jail, probation, treatment, or electronic monitoring
There are three types of misdemeanors in Michigan and are classified by the amount of jail time:
- Misdemeanor punishable by 93 days in jail, and/or a $500 fine
- Misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine
- High court misdemeanor, which carries up to two years in jail and/or a $2000 fine
Michigan is one of only two states (the other being Utah) that has [created] (https://www.protectmichild.com/) a Child Protection Registry, allowing householders to register their address, e-mail addresses, telephone and cell phone details on a ‘do not contact’ list, on the grounds that the details are allocated to or accessed by a minor. Anyone marketing adult-oriented services, such as alcohol or pornography, is required to pay a fee to check the registry and, should they fail to do so or ignore the opt-out request, they face possible felony charges as well as civil and criminal fines.
Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) 750.142 Furnishing Obscene Publications or Criminal News to Minors. This section states that it is an offense to provide a minor under the age of eighteen with a book or pamphlet containing obscene language or pictures etc. tending to corrupt the morals of youth. It is also an offense to hire or engage a minor in the distribution of such obscene material or to permit a child over whom custody is held to participate. This constitutes a misdemeanor.
MCL 750.143 Children; Exhibition of Obscene Matter. States that it is a crime to exhibit within the view of passing children any book or pamphlet etc. containing obscene content tending to the corruption of the morals of youth. This is a misdemeanor.
MCL 750.145a Accosting, Enticing or Soliciting Child for Immoral Purpose. Defines as an offense the solicitation or encouragement of a child under the age of sixteen for an immoral purpose, to submit to an act of sexual intercourse or an act of gross indecency, or to any other act of depravity or delinquency. This is punishable as felony with a term of imprisonment not more than four years and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
MCL 750.145b Accosting, Enticing or Soliciting Child for Immoral Purpose; Prior Conviction; Penalty. States that where a person has a previous conviction for the above offense, subsequent violations are punished with a term of ten years’ imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.
MCL 750.145c Definitions; Child Sexually Abusive Activity or Material; Penalties; Possession of Child Sexually Abusive Material; Expert Testimony; Defenses; Acts of Commercial Film or Photographic Print Processor; Report to Law Enforcement Agency by Computer Technician; Reasonable Availability of Evidence to Defendant; Applicability and Uniformity of Section; Enactment or Enforcement of Ordinances, Rules, or Regulations Prohibited. States that anyone who persuades, produces or finances (amongst others) any sexually abusive activity on a child or child sexually abusive material is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000. A person who distributes such material faces up to seven years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $50,000. Possession of such material attaches to a term of four years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Furthermore, where a computer technician provides law enforcement agencies with information of sexually explicit images involving a child on a computer, discovered in the course of their employment, their identity shall remain confidential and they will be immune to civil suits.
MCL 750.145d Use of Internet or Computer System; Prohibited Conduct; Violation; Penalty; Jurisdiction;t Order to Reimburse State or Local Governmental Unit; Definitions. This section states that it is a criminal offense to use the Internet to communicate with another person for the purpose of committing the above offenses with a minor. The maximum sentence for this is 20 years, but depends wholly on the underlying offense for which the offender was communicating with the other party.
MCL 750.335a Indecent Exposure; Violation; Penalty; Mother’s Breastfeeding or Expressing Milk Exempt. Sets a penalty of up to one year’s imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000 for anyone who knowingly makes any open or indecent exposure of his or her person. Where the person is seen fondling his or her own genitals the sentence rises to two years and the fine to $2,000.
MCL 750.337 Women and Children; Improper Language in Presence. States that any person who uses any indecent, immoral, obscene, vulgar or insulting language in the presence or hearing of any woman or child is guilty of a misdemeanor.
MCL 750.338 Gross Indecency; Between Male Persons. This section states that it is a crime for any male party, in private or in public, to procure or attempt to procure the commission by any male person of any act of gross indecency. This is punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed five years or a maximum fine of $2,500.
MCL 750.338a Gross Indecency; Female Persons. States that it is an offense for any female party, in private or in public, to procure or attempt to procure the commission by any female person of any act of gross indecency. This is punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed five years or a maximum fine of $2,500.
MCL 750.338b Gross Indecency; Between Male and Female Persons. States that it is a crime for a person of either sex to engage in or procure any act of gross indecency with a member of the opposite sex. The sentence for this is up to five years in prison or a maximum fine of $2,500.
MCL 750.411h Stalking; Definitions; Violation as Misdemeanor; Penalties; Probation; Conditions; Evidence of Continued Conduct as Rebuttable Presumption; Additional Penalties. This section defines the crime as engaging in a repeated course of conduct that (among other definitions) would cause a reasonable person to feel fear, harassed, threatened or molested. The sending of electronic mail to the victim is specifically included in this section. The crime is deemed to be a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year’s imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. If the victim was under the age of eighteen at any point during the course of conduct, and the offender is more than five years older than them the penalty is increased to imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to $10, 000 or both.
MCL 750.411i Definitions; Aggravated Stalking; Circumstances; Violation as Felony; Penalty; Probation; Additional Conditions of Probation, Effect of Continued Course of Conduct, Rebuttable Presumption; Additional Penalty. Defines the offense as stalking in one of the following circumstances: the offender violated a restraining order or probation in committing the offense; he/she made a credible threat against the victim or the victim’s family; the offender is a recidivist. The penalty for aggravated stalking is up to five years’ imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $10,000. Where the victim is a minor under the age of eighteen and the offender is five or more years older than the victim, the sentence will increase to up to ten years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $15,000.
MCL 750.411s Posting Message Through Electronic Medium; Prohibitions; Penalty; Exceptions; Definitions. States that a person is guilty of an offense if he/she posts a message through any contact medium, including the Internet, e-mail, a computer, computer network or other electronic devices, without the victim’s consent, if all of the following apply: sending the message causes two or more acts of unconsented contact; the intent of posting the message is to cause fear, distress, intimidation or the like; the victim suffers emotional distress and feels molested. The offense is punishable by imprisonment for up to two years and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Where the offender violated probation, a restraining order or condition of parole in committing the offense, or the victim is under the age of eighteen and the accused is five or more years older, an aggravated penalty of up five years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000 will apply. This section does not apply to an ISP providing communication services.
MCL 750.520b Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree; Circumstances; Felony; Consecutive Terms. This section defines as an offense the engagement in sexual penetration with a child under thirteen or a child over thirteen but under sixteen when the offender is in a position of authority over the child. The use of force or possession of a weapon is also included under this section among other characteristics of the crime. This is punishable by a term of life imprisonment. Where the victim is under thirteen the minimum term is 25 years’ imprisonment.
MCL 50.520c Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree; Felony. Defines the situation where sexual contact is made with a child under thirteen, or a child over thirteen but under sixteen when the offender is in a position of authority over the child. This section includes the use of threats of force, among other characteristics. The sentence for this is up to fifteen years’ imprisonment.
MCL 750.520d Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree; Felony. States that where the person engages in sexual penetration and the victim is between thirteen and sixteen, he/she will be liable to a maximum sentence of fifteen years’ imprisonment. Where the victim is aged between sixteen and eighteen and the offender is employed at their school, the same penalty will apply.
MCL 750.520e Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree; Misdemeanor. It is a crime under this section to engage in sexual conduct with another person who is aged between thirteen and sixteen where the offender is five or more years older. The sentence for this is two years’ imprisonment. Where the victim is aged between sixteen and eighteen and the offender is employed at their school, the same penalty will apply.
MCL 750.520g Assault with Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct; Felony. This section states that where the intent is to commit sexual penetration, the sentence is imprisonment for up to ten years. Where the intent is to commit criminal sexual conduct then the term of imprisonment is up to five years.
MCL 752.365 Obscenity; Elements; Misdemeanor; Penalty; Second or Subsequent Offense as a Felony. States that a person is guilty of this offense when having knowledge of the material they disseminate or intend to disseminate obscene material. An offender faces a term of imprisonment not to exceed one year for a first conviction and/or a fine of up to $100,000, and two years and/or a fine between $50,000 and $5,000,000 for subsequent violations.
MCL 397.606 Restriction of Internet Access to Minors; Immunity from Liability; Exceptions. States that any library offering Internet access has to adopt and enforce a policy that restricts access to minors by either providing a number of computer terminals for adult use only, or by implementing a system that prevents minors from accessing obscene or sexually explicit material.