no avatar

Man sentenced for assaulting young girls in GH Twp.

By Audra Gamble/The Holland Sentinel • Oct 3, 2018 at 11:00 AM

A Holland man was sentenced Monday to at least five years in prison for assaulting sisters, ages 7 and 10, in the Grand Haven area.

Michael Santino Beltran, 26, pleaded no contest to one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of accosting a child for immoral purposes after the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office investigated him in February.

According to Ottawa County Circuit Judge Karen Miedema, there was evidence of Beltran assaulting the sisters at various residences, including in Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Grand Haven Township. The charges stemming from February took place in the girls’ Grand Haven Township home.

It’s unclear what the relationship is between the girls and Beltran, but Miedema said Beltran had conditioned the girls to follow him into a bedroom when he tapped them on the shoulder. Beltran would then lock the bedroom door and assault the girls.

The sisters were interviewed by the Children’s Advocacy Center, where the girls said Beltran would take their pants off and touch their genitals. He also had one girl get on her knees, then kissed her rear end, according to court documents.

During his sentencing, Miedema said there was “more than enough sexual assaults” to consider Beltran’s behavior part of a felonious pattern in this case.

In return for his no-contest plea, which is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such at sentencing, two other criminal sexual conduct charges were dismissed against Beltran.

The victims wrote their own statements about what happened to them, which were read in court by a therapist from the Children’s Advocacy Center. The children were present at Beltran’s sentencing.

“Michael treated me like an adult,” the 10-year-old wrote. “I was scared and confused and I felt trapped. He messed me and my sister from being a kid. I’ve been having bad nightmares and I’m scared it could happen again, but my mom told me I was brave for telling what he did. Now, I have anxiety. Michael does not have the right to be free where he can hurt kids again.”

The younger sister also said she knew what Beltran did to her was a “bad thing.”

“I was scared to tell my mom the bad things he did,” the 7-year-old wrote. “But when I told my mom, then I realized it was the right thing to do so he does not do it to other kids.”

When asked by Miedema if he had anything to say before being sentenced, Beltran declined to speak.

Along with serving 5-15 years in state prison, Beltran must also register as a sex offender and is subject to lifetime electronic GPS monitoring. He was given credit for 33 days already served in jail.

Recommended for You

    Grand Haven Tribune Videos