Court News

Gavel and scales

DENTON — A Ridgely man was found guilty of two counts of second-degree rape and child sex abuse May 18 in Caroline County Circuit Court.

Judge Jonathan Newell found 30-year-old Michael John Griffith Jr. guilty and sentenced him to 25 years (the maximum sentence) in prison on the child sex abuse charge and to 20 years on both rape charges, with 10 years suspended on each.

The cases date back to incidents that occurred in 2019, but the cases were delayed while courts were closed by the pandemic. Griffith has remained incarcerated since his arrest.

Griffith will have to register as a sex offender for life due to these convictions, according to Caroline County State’s Attorney Joseph Riley.

All pleas were discussed with the victims and their representatives prior to be entered, he said. Riley added his office is not releasing any further information on the cases in order to protect the identity of the victims.

Riley acknowledged the work of the Ridgely Police Department Chief Jeff Eckrich and the Federalsburg Police Department, particularly Detective Michelle Schurlholz. The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Kristina Sutley.

“The State’s Attorney’s Office for Caroline County would like to express our admiration for the courage of the victims to come forward in this matter, and we all hope and pray that they are able to recover from this trauma,” a statement from the state’s attorney’s office said.

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