Robert Hezekiah Prescott, a 38-year-old Kalamazoo taxi driver who works for Godspeed Taxi, is facing trial for the alleged sexual assault of a woman who used his cab service on January 12 of this year, according to news reports at Mlive.com.
Court documents indicate Prescott was bound over for trial last month. The alleged victim, who had ridden in Prescott’s taxi on multiple occasions, said that Prescott told her they were going to go to his home, to which she replied, “No, we’re not.” He then allegedly forced her into the back of the cab and raped her. Prescott drove the woman home, at which point she notified police. Prescott was arrested later that evening by Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers.
According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, the defendant was on parole at the time the alleged sexual assault occurred. He has been charged with four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count each of possession of a firearm by a felon, assault with a dangerous weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, and unlawful imprisonment, and seven counts of felony firearm.
The alleged victim said that in the times she had ridden in Prescott’s cab in the past, she had no idea about his violent past, and that he came across and lonely and sweet. On the day of the alleged rape, Prescott was to take the victim to her home after picking her up near 9th and Stadium in Oshtemo, however he was not driving in the direction of her home. This is when Prescott informed the woman that they were going to “hang out” at his house, and she declined.
Prescott is due back in court on the charges on February 18.
First-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious of all sex charges. If convicted, Prescott could face a prison term of life in prison. Considering he was on parole at the time and the other charges leveled against him, there is no doubt he will face severe punishment if found guilty at trial.
In some cases, prosecutors will offer a defendant a plea agreement when the evidence to support a conviction is weak, or to speed the case through the system. In these situations the defendant is typically offered an opportunity to plead guilty or no contest to a lesser charge, thereby leaving the defendant facing reduced criminal penalties.
Rape, child molestation, child pornography possession, and sexual assault are all very serious charges. It is critical that anyone accused of a sex crime speak with an experienced and aggressive Michigan sex crime defense attorney right away for legal guidance and vigorous, effective defense.