Theodore Charles Dyer will be 91 by the time he gets his first chance for parole, his attorney said during his client's sentencing in Ottawa County Circuit Court on Monday.
“That amounts to a sentence of life in prison without parole,” attorney Floyd Farmer said. “I believe that is cruel and unusual punishment.”
Judge Ed Post denied Farmer’s sentencing challenge.
“I believe (the child’s) youthfulness was exploited,” Post said.
Following a one-day trial on Dec. 12, the jury spent 10 minutes deliberating before declaring Dyer guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Dyer had befriended the girl’s family to the point that she and her siblings had what her mom described as an "open door policy" between their apartments.
The girl’s mom testified that she went to retrieve her child on a late-July night and found Dyer performing oral sex on the girl in one of the bedrooms of the man's apartment. The child, now 9, testified that this wasn't the first time something like that had happened.
The mother said her daughter has had nightmares since that night and continues to go to counseling.
“She’s in school, she’s doing all right, but she’s not the best,” her mother said after the sentencing.
The mother said she is happy with Dyer's sentence of 25-50 years in prison.
Dyer’s live-in girlfriend, who cried in the courtroom while waiting for Dyer to be sentenced, sat on a bench in the courthouse hallway with her head in her hands after the sentencing.
“It wasn’t true,” she said. “It was all lies.”
The girlfriend declined to comment further.
Based on the guidelines, Dyer could spend up to 50 years in prison if he doesn’t make parole. He will also be placed on a lifetime tether once he is released, the judge ordered.