Child porn case heads to trial.

March 25, 2019

Rodney Ramthun with defense attorney Terry Shaw.

Child porn case heads to trial.

#OceanaCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART —The child porn case against a 52-year-old Shelby man is headed to trial in 27th Circuit Court.

Rodney Alvin Ramthun, of 4080 W. Baker Rd., faces felony charges of possession of child sexually abusive material and fourth-offense habitual offender. Ramthun is currently incarcerated in the Oceana County Jail on a cocaine delivery conviction.

Had his guilty plea been accepted, Ramthun would have faced a sentence within the guidelines of 10-46 months.

Due to his wishy-washy testimony Monday, March 25, Judge Robert D. Springstead rejected Ramthun’s guilty plea. “I’m not going to accept your plea,” Springstead said.

“I honestly didn’t know what was on the phone,” Ramthun said. Then he quickly changed his story and said he did know that the child porn was on his phone.

There were several other inconsistencies during Ramthun’s testimony. He said he didn’t request the pornographic video of a teenage girl “in her pajamas” performing sexual acts, but it appeared on his phone by accident. Ramthun also said he obtained the video from an application called Kik. Kik Messenger is one of the most popular instant messaging apps for teens, similar to SnapChat.

“Did you view it?” the judge asked. “Yes,” Ramthun answered. “How many times?” the judge asked. “I don’t know,” he answered.

Springstead asked if other people would think the girl appeared to be underage, and Ramthun said, “No, based on what my attorney said.”

Part of the plea deal offered by the prosecution was that Ramthun would not face any other charges. Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon said other potential charges came to light after additional pornographic material was allegedly found on Ramthun’s phone. Now, Ramthun could face those added charges during the trial or a separate trial.

Ramthun was arrested last August stemming from a November 2017 raid of his home by the State, Sheriffs’, Chiefs’ Enforcement of Narcotics Team (SSCENT), which ultimately led to his most recent conviction of cocaine delivery less than 50 grams March 12, 2018.

He was previously convicted in Oceana County of second-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) April 17, 1995; second-degree CSC April 1, 1996; and felony assault March 21, 2014.

Ramthun is currently serving one year in jail for his drug conviction. Due to his habitual offender status, the maximum penalty for his new charge is elevated to life in prison.

The trial will take place some time in May or June.

If there are two separate trials, it could be advantageous to the prosecution, the judge said.

This story is copyrighted © 2019, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

 

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