On Tuesday February 4, 37-year-old Ryan D. Tafel of Saginaw Township was sentenced to one year in prison and one year on a GPS-enabled tether after pleading no contest to attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Saginaw County Circuit Judge Janet M. Boes sentenced Tafel, who pleaded no contest to the charge in exchange for prosecutors dismissing three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Tafel allegedly sexually assaulted a young female relative, according to news reports at Mlive.com.
Tafel is accused of sexually assaulting the female relative in Saginaw Township in 2005 and 2012; the girl is now 14 years old. The victim testified at Tafel’s preliminary hearing in May of last year behind closed doors. According to Christopher Boyd, Saginaw County Chief Assistant Prosecutor, Tafel was offered a plea agreement due to the prosecutor’s office trying to spare the teenage girl the stress of testifying, and because of potential proof problems.
Tafel declined a plea deal offered by prosecutors in which he would have pleaded guilty to second-degree CSC against someone under the age of 13. The plea would have left him facing three to 15 years in prison. He also declined to take a polygraph test.