NILES — A Niles teenager was sentenced today in Berrien County Trial Court to a 20- to 40-year prison term for his role in a sex video extortion case.
Judge Scott Schofield handed down the sentence to Martise Washington, who was found guilty of a seven-count warrant at a jury trial several weeks ago. He’s the first of four teens in the high-profile case to be sentenced, with a fifth, Marcell Miller, scheduled to go on trial Tuesday.
The jury found Washington, 18, guilty of all charges, the most serious of which was first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Washington was convicted of three counts of the charge, which carries a penalty of life in prison or any term of years.
Schofield mentioned before sentencing he had heard the case referred to in Niles as “a sexting case,’’ but he argued it more accurately was a “brutal, heartless rape.’’
“You treated her as an object, something to be used and discarded,’’ the judge told Washington.
Washington admitted during his trial it was his idea to record his consensual sexual liaison with the victim on March 14 and to threaten her four days later with posting the video on Facebook unless she engaged in other sex acts with both himself and his friends.
As Schofield said in court today, the victim, 17 at the time of the incidents, felt she had no recourse but to go along. When asked if there was anything he wished to say before being sentenced, Washington answered, “Nothing.’’ He’ll receive credit for 213 days already served.
Staff writer Lou Mumford: