NILES — One of five high school students charged in a scheme to extract sexual favors from young women in return for keeping secretly recorded videos off Facebook has entered guilty pleas to two offenses.
Under terms of the plea bargain reached today in Berrien County Trial Court, Leon Murphy, 18, said he was guilty of one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of possession of child sexually abusive material. Based on his pleas, he won’t be charged in an additional investigation involving similar sexual activities with another young woman.
Murphy, who will be required to register as a sex offender, agreed to testify against co-defendants Parnell Martin, Martise Washington, Trey Nichols and Martell Miller. One count of possession of child sexually abusive material was dropped, as was one count of extortion and two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Murphy admitted to coercing sex from a 17-year-old woman on March 18, telling Judge Scott Schofield he told the girl that failure to have sex with him would result in uploading on Facebook a video of the girl and a friend of Murphy having sex. Murphy also admitted to having a photo of a 15-year-old unclothed girl on his cell phone.
Sentencing is set for July 5.
Staff writer Lou Mumford: