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Man gets prison for skipping out on probation for trip to Hawaii

Becky Vargo • Apr 6, 2019 at 7:00 AM

“It’s not a good idea to poke your finger in the eye of a judge,” attorney Andrew Rodenhouse said after his client was sent to prison on a probation violation.

Joshua Stanton, 33, was ordered to serve 4.75-10 years in prison during a hearing Friday in Ottawa County Circuit Court.

“You threw it away. This is on you,” Judge Jon Hulsing told Stanton as he revoked the Kent County man’s probation.

Rodenhouse confirmed that, while Stanton was on probation, his client had left the state against the judge’s orders. He went on a vacation to Hawaii.

“His probation officer met him at the (airport) gate,” Rodenhouse said. Court officials said police were also there to make the arrest.

Stanton was ordered to be on probation for five years when he was sentenced Dec. 3, 2018, for a conviction of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration. That was part of a plea agreement in exchange for the dismissal of a more than 10-year-old first-degree criminal sexual conduct incident that occurred in the Grand Haven area, Rodenhouse said. The attorney said his client had to waive the statute of limitations to get the plea deal.

At Stanton’s sentencing in December, “the judge gave him a huge break” because the man hadn’t had any other violations since the incident in the early 2000s, Rodenhouse said.

At Friday’s hearing, Hulsing reminded Stanton that the underlying crimes for his original conviction were conducted over a lengthy period of time and were “egregious.”

“You knew the massive break the court gave you,” the judge said to him. “You took advantage of that leniency.”

Stanton agreed that he took for granted “the mercy the court has shown me when I was sentenced.” He then asked for another chance to be a good father to his children.

Rodenhouse said his client was at very low risk for a repeat violation. He shook his head about his client’s actions.

“I just can’t explain the thought process other than he was trying to impress his fiancée,” Rodenhouse said.

Stanton was given credit for 76 days already served in jail.

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