Molester sent to prison for up to 15 years

A man charged with molesting an 8-year-old Spring Lake girl will spend nearly six years in prison, maybe more.
Becky Vargo
Mar 4, 2014

Clarence Lee Collins, 33, of Montague was ordered to serve 71 months to 15 years with the Michigan Department of Corrections when he was sentenced Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court.

The girl and her mother both gave victim statements during the sentence hearing.

She “is an amazing little girl,” the victim’s mother said. “She was brave for coming forward with an emotional crime committed against her.”

The mother said it is particularly awful that she thought her daughter was safe with the man who ended up taking the girl’s innocence.

“It was a horrible, heartless act against such an innocent child,” the mother said.

The young girl respectfully addressed the judge with “Good morning, sir.” She then read from a tightly clutched piece of paper.

“I want Mr. Collins to go to jail for a long time,” the girl said. “I don’t want him to do this to other children.”

The girl also told the judge that she was attending counseling to help her deal with the situation.

Collins’ attorney, Chad Catalino, said despite his client’s extensive criminal history, Collins has been making strides in his rehabilitation program, held a job and had “no parole violations other than these allegations.”

Collins said he made a no-contest plea to a second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge “not as a confession of guilt, but out of fear of life in prison due to my extensive criminal history.”

Collins told the judge the accusations were a setup. He said the child’s mother told him that, if he ever left her for another woman, she would make his life “a living hell,” he said when Judge Jon Hulsing asked him if he had something to say.

Collins’ previous criminal history in Ottawa County includes a parole violation and failure to comply with the state sex offender registry, both Spring Lake-area offenses from 2011. He also has a conviction for allowing an unlicensed driver to drive in Grand Haven in 2011.

Collins received credit for 40 days already served in jail. He was ordered to pay fines and costs, and continue to register as a sex offender. He will be on a lifetime electronic tether when he gets out of prison.

Comments

LIAMD

8 yrs old..speechless...Death Penalty, you hear that Rev. Cramer, this man should die for such a Heinous crime, got off easy.

Mystic Michael

The inherent risk for anyone who speaks up against such hyperbolic, hyper-emotional, extreme measures such as you've just proposed - as I am about to do - is that he will readily be accused of "being soft on crime", "a bleeding heart", and "a coddler of criminals". So let's just get all that BS out of the way right now, shall we?

One good reason why we have a legal code is to introduce the element of due process, and if the defendant is legitimately found to be guilty, to assure that the punishment will actually be PROPORTIONAL to the crime. The idea is to maximize the light of reason, rationality, and common sense; so as to minimize the heat of the rabble's rage - and the demands of vigilante "justice".

OF COURSE it was a heinous, despicable crime. But the death penalty??? Get real, dude. Seriously.

zwesterhouse

They will gladly welcome him at the MDOC. The prison is just so over crowded with people who have similar profiles. No one has to worry about him ever getting out - he will be at home. If he makes parole, he most likely go to a store, grab some booze and drink it without paying for it. When the cops arrive he will say "take me back" The only way to change this is to get a constitutional change to our states constitution and re-instate the death penalty for these types of cases and fire up Old Sparky.

Mystic Michael

What I just said to LIAMD goes for you too. Deal with it.

freemybrother

He is my brother he is innocent

thecatsmom

I think we should just eliminte these ghouls. There is no rehanilitation for these perverts.

Mystic Michael

Yeah, when it doubt, just kill 'em all. Right? For you the line has already slid from first degree, premeditated murder, all the way down to child sexual abuse. So given this already-slippery slope, where then do you draw the new line? And on what basis? Where/when does it ever end?

It's so very facile to just cry "kill 'em!". But who are you to say that there is no rehabilitation possible? Do you know the man's heart? When and where did God grant to you these special powers of judgment over the life and death of another human being?

Tri-cities realist

MM, your new found respect of a slippery slope is intriguing. Perhaps you could apply it to other issues.

owell

No slippery slope. Stop at all big city, bleeding heart liberals.

16damons

6 to 15 years... WTH? If he is a good boy and doesn't get in any trouble, it is quite likely he will receive parole in 6 years. Then even if the parole board decides to flop him, that would almost certainly guarantee his release in 7 years. Not to mention his previous history. Failure to comply with the sex offender registry? It sounds like he has been down this road before. How many previous felony convictions does he actually have? Even more so, why was he not sentenced as a Habitual Offender? With one previous felony conviction, this would have increased his sentence by 1.5 times. Two previous felony convictions would have doubled his time. Either the Habitual charge was never introduced or was dismissed in exchange for his plea. I rather hope he is too ignorant to ask for or accept protective custody. Prison justice has it's way of dealing with scum like him.

LIAMD

MM, stop with your philosophical BS, your trying too hard to sound smart and instead you sound like a moron. OK maybe not the death penalty at first but mandatory Castration and if refusal then death penalty..watch the sex offender list dry up and the predator crime diminish. So yea if it was my 8 yr old I'd want to'Kill em all' !

Mystic Michael

Are you utterly incapable of defending your position - without resorting to personal attacks? I am advocating legal due process, the Constitutional prohibition of cruel & unusual punishment, and punishment that is proportional to the crime: nothing more, nothing less.

It seems to me that your style of kneejerk "justice" is more at home in such places as Somalia, Afghanistan, and North Korea - places that don't have a constitution - at least not one as inspired as ours. Perhaps you'd feel more at home in one of those places?

thecatsmom

Michael. Maybe you can take him in when he is released and you can introduce him to your family. Look at the statistics....

Mystic Michael

I thought I had already dispensed with all the ridiculous "bleeding heart", "soft on crime" stereotyping in my very first post on this thread. I know that I did. And I simply don't know how to state it any more bluntly or forcefully.

It seems to me that some of you people must be conflating punishment with justice - as in "the more punishment, the more justice". But that is, of course, not what justice means.

"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" is one thing. But apparently that's not good enough for some of you. You want a head for an eye. You want a head for a tooth.

cantfixstupid

First of all, Mystic Michael...you must not have any children to speak such ignorance. Second, I hope this low life piece of s*#t gets exactly what he deserves in prison. As a parent you can only hope and pray that a habitual offender like this doesn't make it out of prison alive! This guy has a long list of prior felonies along with prison time served a few years back. I agree with you 16damons, he should have been sentenced as a habitual offender and to me the maximum of 15 years isn't enough. Death penalty should be used for people like this. I am so disgusted with our justice system. It is such a disappointment to society.

Mystic Michael

Excuse me. It's not a question of whether or not I have children. My personal life is none of your business. I'm trying to stick to the issues. Is it so hard for you to do so as well? You are WAY out of line.

Why is it "ignorance" to stand up for Constitutional values of due process, prohibition of cruel & unusual punishment, and proportionality of the punishment to the crime? My ancestors fought against the tyranny of King George in order to secure these very rights - and many more: so that none of us could be deprived of due process, and subjected to torture, physical mutilation or maiming...or summary execution for a crime that does not merit capital punishment. These things were done precisely for the purpose of maintaining rationality & reason - and specifically to guard against the impulsive actions of an enraged rabble, eager for revenge at all costs.

It is what separates a civilized society from mob rule & rampant vigilantism. You now may feel morally justified in your desire for blood. But what if you were to be charged with a heinous crime - whether or not you were guilty? Would you still be so eager for the kneejerk, snap judgment "justice" of the mob?

fixitman

Mystic Michael ARE YOU a closet SEX OFFENDER???? You sure are standing up for this guy. What is wrong with death pentaly for anyone who does this to anyone I dont care if they are young or old old people get molested to. It has to stop some where> I work with a guy back in his country they take justice in their own hands if a person molset a child they are burned at the stake and if the police show up they give the police an option to leave or join the guy on the stake. We need to go back to public hanging. It will show the young people what wil happen if the choose the wrong path to follow, and it will end repeat offenders. And this deal with sitting on death row for twelve years has to stop. If you are found guilty and put to death you will die the next day at noon no questions asked. And how can parent stand by their kids when the person kills someone when you kill someone or molest a person you are no long a person you are an animal and will be treated as such. I hope my kids even when they grow up never do anything like any of this because we raise our kids with values and good guindance but if they become stupid and do something like this they are no longer my child and will be disowned forever.

LIAMD

MM your brain lives in a utopian mythical fantasy land somewhere over the rainbow. To try and even defend in hopes of rehabilitation..your a sick person.

Mystic Michael

Oh, yeah? Well, your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c...

EINSTEIN

I like the mandatory castration idea and also the public execution idea. Maybe a hanging in Central Park would not be practical but televised executions might be a good idea. We could choose to watch it or not and also decide whether or not our children should watch it. I think it would have big impact on our society.

Guilty-Until-Pr...

You assume he is guilty because of his past? Getting caught with his girlfriend and parents prosecute?
Don't you think that his ex knows his past as well? Ex has a new relationship and they all want to move out of state and the only thing standing in the way is the father of their children saying no and a month later allegations arise. No ones comments even mention evidence. Guess what? There is no DNA or physical evidence at all! It is a verbal allegation that this man is going to prison on. Can you imagine going to prison from an allegation? Can you imagine executing someone over an allegation?

cantfixstupid

NO allegation! Evidence and DNA exist which is why he CHOSE the no contest plea...in fear that a jury would hang him! And unfortunately a past can tell a lot, and in this case it's a LONG past! And let's be honest...it's the child suffering here. She is an innocent child who had to endure for years the horrific abuse and threats from a monster. This child will be lucky if she can ever lead a normal life.

Candice

You have no idea what this man is like. Hes a caring, loving, sweet man. I've had the privilege of knowing him for a few years. He worked 2 jobs for his girls. He adores his daughters, his daughters adore him. Hes a wonderful father. This is just a viscous woman getting him back. Shes the one that needs to be jailed. I'm in such pain for him and his family..Know Clarence you are loved by many of us.

Nolongerinnocen...

This is an innocent man who was viewed as guilty from the beginning and sadly had no chance. He's a good man and an amazing father who was accused of an unspeakable crime by his ex who wanted to ruin his life. And she did. She put a good man with a big heart in prison and is leading you people believe he did these terrible things. There is no evidence because he didnt commit this crime and now has to pay the price for something he didn't and would never do. The justice system is messed up.

Candice

Thank you Nolongerinnocent. I can not agree more with you.. It will pain me every day till he gets out. But he still will not be a free man.

Nolongerinnocen...

This evil woman will pay for what she did to him one day, no person gets away with doing this to someone. She will end up in hell where she belongs. He will be greatly missed but he has a huge support system and we will all be there for him. It's painful to see him in this situation and so unfair. And the comments of these people really piss me off. They don't know him they have no place to judge him and assume he's guilty. But at least the people that know him are standing up for him.

Sockie1972

I hope he can handle prison poor guy, we are way to soft on these monsters how about a public hanging he ruined that little girl forever

CeeIsInnocent

Her mother is the one ruining her by making her tell these lies about the only man who stepped up to be that child's father. The biological father was nowhere around. Clarence did NOTHING to ruin her. Her mother and her mother's new relationship choosing to come up with these false allegations against an innocent man just so they could move away - now that is the injustice here; THAT is what is ruining that little girl forever!

Nolongerinnocen...

Way too soft? You would like an innocent man to be hanged? Her mother ruined that little girls life because she's found a way to be able to move out of state, even if that meant creating a false allegation that put somebody In prison for years.

jenn80

To the bashers:
He is someones SON, someones brother, a FATHER and more. You need to choose your words wisely as they may hurt many others. This story is not yours, you have no right to bash this man, to say he should be put to death is UNHUMAN of you. Now grow up all of you!

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