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Ian Elliott pleads no contest to reduced charge in sexual assault case


Former Student Government Association President Ian Elliott, 25, left, walks out of the courtroom with defense attorney Joe Barberi, right, after pleading no contest to a reduced charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct Jan. 17 at Isabella County Trial Court.

Ian Elliott pleaded no contest to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct Friday afternoon following an agreement with the Michigan Attorney General's Office.

Elliott, the former president of CMU Student Government Association, appeared in Isabella County Trial Court on Jan. 17 where he withdrew a previous no contest plea to a third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge and vacated the 366-day sentence he began serving Aug. 2 in St. Louis Correctional Facility.

In his no contest plea on Friday, Elliott admitted to being intoxicated and sexually assaulting a physically helpless victim on Sept. 1, 2016. Elliott entered the plea to the fourth-degree CSC charge as part of an agreement with Attorney General Dana Nessel.

The lead prosecutor in the case against Elliott, former Assistant Attorney General Brian Kolodziej, admitted to an inappropriate relationship with one of the victims in the case. Nessel announced Sept. 10 that she would concur with Elliott's defense attorney, Joe Barberi, who motioned to withdraw the previous no contest plea to third-degree CSC. 

“The contents of our investigation into Kolodziej’s conduct on this case required that this information be relayed to Mr. Elliott’s counsel and that the defendant be permitted to set aside his original plea,” Nessel said in a released statement on Friday. “After extensive discussions with both victims, it was decided that the best resolution of this matter was to allow Mr. Elliott to plead to criminal sexual conduct-fourth degree, ensuring that he would continue to serve a year in jail and have various other conditions imposed during a lengthy term of probation after his release.”

According to state law, fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and requires up to five years of probation. 

Former Student Government Association President Ian Elliott, 25, walks out of the courtroom after pleading no contest to a reduced charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct Jan. 17 at Isabella County Trial Court.

Elliott will be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 7. He will likely serve four months in Isabella County Jail in addition to his time already served. He also agreed to serve five years probation and complete alcohol and sex offender counseling. 

While Elliott's previous plea placed him on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry for life, Elliott will now be placed on what Barberi described as a "non-public" sex offender list for 15 years. He will be required to check in annually with law enforcement where he resides. 

Elliott's attorney alleged that during Kolodziej's pre-sentence investigation, the former prosecutor submitted a forged police report that was not authorized by the Attorney General's Office. 

Barberi said he is satisfied with the agreement he reached with Nessel, which brought a final resolution to a case he said was drawn out for several months.

"My goal through all of this was to see this case resolved with certainty," Barberi said. "We all agreed that Kolodziej's handling of the case was despicable. (Nessel) was very transparent through all of her investigation, and we're satisfied with this resolution."