The Middleville man’s voice shook with tears as he apologized to his family and asked for forgiveness.
Kermeen, 39, also apologized to the women involved in the incident and to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department “for disappointing them and violating their trust.”
Kermeen was sentenced Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court to 5-15 years in prison on two separate second-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.
“We support the determination made by the court,” Undersheriff Gary Steigenga said. “We can in no way support the behavior that was exhibited by this particular corrections officer. We’re held to a higher standard.”
The sheriff’s office conducted an investigation after allegations of misconduct were brought forward on Oct. 29, 2013. The next day, Kermeen’s nine-year employment was suspended while the investigation was conducted. He was later terminated from the department.
Kermeen had been lodged at the Kent County Jail on a $3,500 bond, but bond was denied after he entered a guilty plea to the charges on Feb. 4.
Kermeen’s attorney, Robert Hamilton, said he disagreed with the severity of the sentence.
“I thought the guidelines should have been scored at 29-52 months,” Hamilton said. “He should have been sentenced at the low end, two and a half to three years.”
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.