A Destrehan roofer who was sentenced to 75 years in jail for a sex crime before receiving a new trial due to a technicality will now only serve a 10-year sentence.
Michael Bates was originally charged with sexual battery and the molestation of a juvenile in 2010 and pled not guilty to both charges. The crimes took place between January and June 2007 when Bates was accused of stripping down in front of a 9-year-old girl and touching her inappropriately on two separate occasions.
On Jan. 13, 2011, a 12-person jury found Bates guilty of the crimes and he was sentenced to 75 years in jail without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.
However, due to a technicality, Bates’ sentence was reversed last year and his case was sent back to district court.
According to the state’s Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal, Bates’ prosecution was instituted by a bill of information. The court ruled that those answering for a crime punishable by life imprisonment must instead be indicted by a grand jury.
Bates was never indicted after his arrest in 2010.
Last May, a grand jury convened, indicted Bates on the charges and he was prosecuted for the crimes again.
Instead of going through another trial, Bates pled guilty to one count of sexual battery and two other counts against him were dismissed. He received a 10-year sentence after his guilty plea on Jan. 14.
When Bates is released from jail, he will have to register as a sex offender.