|Michael Terpening during trial, Nov. 2012|
The assistant attorney general, Angela Povilaitis, gave a disturbing summary of Terpening's case, focusing on the fact that he is a sexual predator, that he groomed his victims, and had a long history of sexually abusing others, dating back almost 15 years.
|Michael Terpening at sentencing Dec. 2012|
Judge Amy McDowell was not overly interested in the letters from Terpening's supporters; although she did take the time to read them. Judge McDowell departed from the sentencing guidelines and sentenced 10 to 15 years in prison. She directly addressed Terpening by telling him that he was a danger to the community. He was entrusted with the kids by the State of Michigan. He manipulated everyone: the courts, his family and friends, his supporters, and witnesses and victims in this case for his own selfish actions. He instructed an employee to clean certain places with bleach, places where the assaults happened, but the employee slacked off on that order. DNA evidence supports a victim's testimony.
Terpening specifically was searching for residents who had been sexually abused and were difficult to place. According to a family member of the biological mother of the five kids Terpening adopted, he originally only wanted the two boys; however, the biological mother wanted them kept together and did not want them split up. She wanted Terpening to take all five of them or get none of them. So, he took all five and adopted them.
Terpening's money is gone now, and he will have to rely on court-appointed attorneys to handle the rest of the pending cases. Kent County officials were also in court Thursday, because that is where the insurance fraud case is being handled. They gave Terpening an opportunity to plea in that case, and he refused. He intends to appeal Judge McDowell's sentence against him and continue fighting the rest of these charges. It is insane for him to think, at this point, he has a chance in hell of turning any of this around now. The best thing he can do is man up to his actions, because until he does, NO psychological care will work on him. Part of getting help is admitting to your mistakes.
And, what a surprise...Terpening showed no emotion before and after the court proceedings, but he sure did put on an emotional display of tears and grief as he begged Judge McDowell to allow him to go to a program that could have him back on the streets in a year's time. He talked about his wife and kids and how much he loves them. He whined about others in lockup with him, who have been approaching him in the shower and rubbing against him (never mind he did the same thing to the kids, so it's good he's learning firsthand what victimization actually feels like).
In the end, it was still all about Terpening. He has no remorse for his actions, swearing up and down that the judge will never seem him back in court again. He said the last 19 months away from his family have been like prison for him. All I can say is BOO HOO! Imagine how those kids were feeling in the Twerpophile prison with all the crazies around them.
Karma is a bitch. Terpening thought he could get away with whatever he wanted, like not paying his veterinarian for services provided to him, driving drunk through the neighbor's fence and not fixing it after saying he would, and driving out of town with the sole intent of committing assault against the much-hated web guy.
It's very obvious Terpening thinks he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, with no concern or regard to his wife and kids. Those days are over, now. And, as Povilaitis said,
...he's had many, many chances.Now what happens? No one knows, yet. There are so many 'maybes' and 'what ifs' that all we can do is sit back and watch it unfold.