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Man sent to prison for sexual encounters with young girls

Becky Vargo • May 2, 2017 at 6:38 PM

An 18-year-old Holland man will spend at least three years in prison after being sentenced Monday for having sex with a girl under age 15.

Derek Lee Van Eyck was ordered to serve 3-15 years in prison on a charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct — force or coersion. Two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, with victims age 13-15, were dismissed at sentencing as part of a plea agreement.

Van Eyck was given credit for 152 days already served in jail.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Jon Hulsing dismissed a defense request to lower the minimum prison requirement, even though the defendant was 17 at the time, noting that Van Eyck had admitted to having sex on one or more occasions with a girl age 12 or 13 who was not the victim involved in the current charges.

The judge also denied a request for the teen to be sentenced under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act due to the age of the victims. The Holmes act allows a felony to be taken off someone’s record if that person successfully completes his or her probationary period.

“They’re just too young,” Hulsing said.

The victim’s mother read a statement for her daughter during the hearing.

“I feel scared just at the sight of him,” the teen wrote. 

The girl noted that she was afraid that he would break into her house. She also said she started doing bad things as a result of the situation.

The victim has been going to counseling, her mother said.

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