At a Monday afternoon sentencing, 25-year-old Adam Hester — having already pleaded no contest to charges of assault, resisting a police officer, fourth-degree criminal sexual misconduct and two counts of aggravated indecent exposure — was given a sentence of no further jail time, but rather five years of probation and an order to stay off the University campus.
Hester’s lawyer, Byron Pitts, was succinct in his evaluation of the sentencing.
“Justice is served,” he said.
Last week, Pitts was in Port Huron, Mich. during the originally scheduled sentencing, causing judge Melinda Morris to postpone the sentencing until Monday. But when he appeared in court, he got everything he requested.
The prosecuting attorney had asked for a year of jail in addition to probation for Hester’s “predatory conduct,” asking Morris to view these crimes through the eyes of the women whom Hester had allegedly harassed. But Morris sided with Pitts after weighing Hester’s “serious” crimes with his absence of a preexisting criminal record.
Morris acknowledged the severity of the charges against Hester, but Hester’s lack of previous felonies and misdemeanors gave credence to the notion of rehabilitation on the part of Hester, Morris said.
In his arguments, Pitts said Hester, who already served 253 days in county jail, has strong family support and noted that his mother calls Pitts frequently.
The actual sentencing lasted about 10 minutes. Pitts and the prosecuting attorney spoke privately with the judge for the first four or five minutes as a white noise machine droned out their conversation.
Hester, in a dark teal jumpsuit with his ankles and wrists handcuffed, was silent almost the whole time, speaking only to affirm statements from the judge. He declined the opportunity to speak on his own behalf.
As per Hester’s probation, he will have to register as a sex offender, abstain from using alcohol and controlled substances, undergo a psychological evaluation and he will be barred from entering the University campus without permission from the Washtenaw County Probation Office. He will also pay approximately $1,700 in court costs.
In an interview after the hearing, Pitts said Hester is “sorry for the activities he participated in.”
Regarding last week’s absence from court, Pitts said he was representing another client in court in Port Huron. He said that case, as is common for hearings, was heard later than expected.