Willits Man Sentenced for Molesting a Child Under 10 and for Other Cases
A defendant charged with child molestation charges resolved his matter last Friday in the Mendocino County Superior Court by plea and stipulated sentence.
Michael Scott Cruce, age 40, of Willits, entered a no contest plea a felony count charging continuous sexual abuse of a child. He also entered a no contest plea to a separate felony count of committing sexual acts with a child 10 years of age or younger.
By stipulation, defendant Cruce will receive an indeterminate sentence of 15 years to life in state prison for his sexual conduct with the child 10 years of age or younger. Defendant Cruce will also receive a consecutive 6 years in state prison for the continuous sexual abuse count, for an overall aggregated term of 21 years to life for the molestation counts.
Consecutive to the above state prison time, the defendant will also be sentenced to an additional 44 months in state prison on a separate felony case. The defendant also entered a no contest plea to unlawfully driving a motor vehicle under the influence causing great bodily injury to a passenger.
The overall time to be imposed on defendant Cruce is 24 years, 8 months to life in state prison. The sentencing hearing is now set for May 1, 2018 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department B of the Ukiah courthouse.
Having suffered the two sex convictions, if the parole board should decide in the future that defendant Cruce should be paroled, he will first have to undergo an evaluation to determine whether he continues to pose a danger to society and should be classified a sexually violent predator. Should that evaluation determine he is a sexually violent predator, he will be transferred to Coalinga State Hospital for SVP treatment and only released upon being found by a Mendocino County jury to no longer present a danger to the community.
The prosecutor who is continuing to handle this matter is Assistant District Attorney Richard T. Welsh. The law enforcement agencies who investigated the underlying facts are the Willits Police Department, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the California Department of Justice forensic laboratory, and the District Attorney’s own investigators. The judge who accepted the plea and who will be imposing the agreed-upon sentence on May 1is Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Cindee Mayfield.