Woman sentenced for sex with boy

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:34 PM

Jessica Marie Newland, 27, was sentenced to at least four years and up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty earlier this month to two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

In exchange for the plea, a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct was dismissed. That charge carries a possible sentence of life in prison.

“I’m really sorry,” Newland told the court when asked if she had anything to say. “If I could go and take it back, I would.”

The charges stem from 2009 to 2010, when Newland was living with her boyfriend in Grand Haven, according to Ottawa County Prosecuting Attorney Gregg Babbitt. The boyfriend was a truck driver and was often gone overnight, Babbitt said, and Newland and the boy — then age 15 — were having “normal sexual intercourse.”

The prosecutor said they were not contending that the boy was forced to have sex.

“He just wasn’t of consenting age,” Babbitt said.

Police arrested Newland in July 2013, after the charges came to light, according to Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke.

Newland had been free on bond until her sentencing on Monday. In addition to the prison time, she must register as a sex offender and not have any contact with the victim.

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