Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Tuesday

December 17, 2013

Sex crime case ends with 60-year sentence

KALKASKA — An Alba man's sex crime case spanning two counties ended with a Kalkaska County judge handing down a long prison stint.

Forty-sixth Circuit Court Judge George Mertz sentenced Scott Wayne Buning, 20, to a 15- to 60-year sentence after Buning pleaded guilty to five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Last week, an Antrim County judge sentenced Buning to a 15- to 45-year sentence for charges involving the same 11-year-old victim.

Buning will serve the sentences concurrently.

Kalkaska County Prosecutor Mike Perreault said no prison sentence would repair damage done to the victim but he hoped it would serve as a deterrent. The Michigan Department of Corrections recommended the sentence based on Buning's criminal history and likelihood of committing a similar crime.

A state police investigation found evidence Buning engaged in sexual acts with the victim in Kalkaska County’s Rapid River Township and Mancelona. In April, Buning pleaded guilty to attempting to harbor runaways in a case involving the same victim.

Shawn Worden, Buning's court-appointed attorney in Antrim County, said it was an "very unfortunate" case.

"Scott is paying for his actions," Worden said. "The goal I have for Scott, and the goal Scott has for Scott, is to pay his debt to society and take advantage of the opportunities in corrections."

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