Traverse City Record-Eagle

June 19, 2013

Kalkaska man gets 100 years for sex crimes

From staff reports
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — KALKASKA — A Kalkaska man convicted of sex crimes against his stepdaughters likely will spend his remaining years behind bars.

A judge on Monday sentenced Jim Sarten, 51, to up to 100 years in prison. A 46th Circuit Court jury in May found him guilty of 16 counts of criminal sexual conduct after less than an hour of deliberation.

The victims — now 15 and 21 — testified Sarten abused them over several years. They came forward last year during a Michigan State Police investigation of a domestic violence incident involving Sarten.

Sarten was charged and found guilty of nine counts of first-degree, six counts of third-degree and one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. He will be eligible for parole in 62.5 years, if he lives that long.

Kalkaska County Prosecutor Mike Perreault said no length of time in prison was enough, considering the abuse against the victims, and he praised the sentence handed down by 46th Circuit Court Judge George Mertz.

“I think the way the sentence was crafted that both the judicial system and prosecutor’s office aren’t going to tolerate any type of sexual abuse,” he said.