Man accused of CSC rejects plea offer, faces prison.

April 9, 2018

Neil Hopkins and defense attorney Jennifer Kuiper-Weise.

Man accused of CSC rejects plea offer, faces prison.

#OceanaCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — The criminal sexual conduct case against a 41-year-old Lafayette, Indiana man is headed to trial in 27th Circuit Court later this month after the defendant rejected a plea offer Monday, April 9, that included a one-year cap on his jail time.

Neil Ashley Hopkins, of 1330 Sheron Chapel Rd., faces three felony counts of first-degree CSC – victim under 13 years old, each of which are punishable by up to life in prison.

Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon offered a plea deal, in which Hopkins can plead to second-degree CSC with a cap of one year in jail. The victim in the case agreed to the arrangement, Bizon said.

Sentencing guidelines in the case are nine to 15 years, stated Judge Robert D. Springstead.

“You’re willing to take that risk?” Springstead asked Hopkins, who answered, “Yes.”

Hopkins appeared in court Monday with his attorney, Jennifer Kuiper-Weise, for a final conference hearing.

Since Hopkins rejected the plea deal, the offer is now “off the table,” the judge said.

Hopkins was found competent to stand trial after recently undergoing psychiatric testing.

Hopkins, who is currently free on a $50,000/cash/surety bond, was arrested approximately a year ago by the Michigan State Police.

The alleged incidents occurred during January of 2014 to January of 2017 in Pentwater Township, according to Hopkins’ court file.

Hopkins’ trial is scheduled for April 25-27.

This story is copyrighted © 2018, 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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