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Sex offender gets prison on one case, time served on another – The Morning Sun | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

A Mt. Pleasant man convicted of accosting minors for immoral purposes and other crimes who continues to maintain his innocence is headed to prison.

Isabella County Chief Judge Eric Janes on Friday said “there is no doubt in my mind” that Eric Gordon Rohman intended to have sex with a minor the night he was arrested last year in a police sting operation, prior to handing down a 45-month to 20-year sentence for using a computer to commit a crime.

Telling Rohman, 42, he hopes he gets the help he needs, Janes also sentenced him to 17 months to 4 years for accosting children for immoral purposes; and 23 months to 10 years for communicating with another to commit a crime.

In addition to sentencing Rohman on those charges, Janes also sentenced him to time served for assault and battery, and dropped a charge of using a self-defense spray device that Rohman incurred after his conviction while he was free on bond.

Calling the testimony in Rohman’s trial alarming and difficult to hear, Janes said he isn’t a good candidate for probation or jail because of the altercation at Target and that charges that came with it.

Rohman, a former Mt. Pleasant schools employee who spoke of mentoring students, read from a prepared statement, apologizing to his family and friends, thanking them for their support since his arrest after the sting operation in July 2022, and continued to maintain he was only going to see for himself if the boy he thought he was talking to online was actually a minor and that he had no ill intentions.

Rohman also apologized to Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police, Isabella County Prosecutor David Barberi, his family and friends before laying bare his life from childhood to today, telling the judge he was different, didn’t fit in and eventually found his calling in performing theater and music.

He also told the judge he voluntarily underwent a psychological evaluation and that knowing he might never perform music live again “is a life sentence.”

Rohman struggled with emotions while talking to the judge, breaking out into tears at times but getting angry when speaking of threats against himself and his family.

Speaking of the incident July 31 at Target that caused his bond to be revoked, Rohman said he does not condone the threats he has received, saying he was publicly accosted at the store because of the conviction and that he had to defend himself.

Rohman’s attorney, Brian Jean, told the judge his client had no significant contact with courts for decades before the sting operation, noting that the first time he was in trouble with the law.

“This case has upended his life,” Jean said. “He has many decades of being a good citizen.”

Ultimately, Jean said, Rohman will be punished for the rest of his life because he will be required to be on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry after his release from prison.

While Jean asked the judge to impose the minimum sentence, Barberi said it’s important to remember that his job is to protect the community and that at the end of the day, Rohman was a 41-year-old man attempting to have sex with a minor.

Reiterating his belief about Rohman’s intent the night he was arrested in the sting, Janes said messages and emails between Rohman and the undercover police officer posing as a teen were not a joke, and that Rohman was not curious about his actual age.

A jury found Rohman guilty of the charges July 13 after a two-day trial.

Because Janes sentenced him on the assault, a scheduled final pre-trial conference that was to take place later this month was cancelled.

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