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U.P. man sentenced to 11 to 35 years for assault of 7-year-old

Assault was captured on a “nannycam” by the victim’s mother
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LANSING – Justin Harvala, 34, of Kingsford, was sentenced Monday by the Honorable Christopher Ninomiya in the 41st Circuit Court to a term of 142 months to 35 years imprisonment for second degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, announced Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Harvala was convicted by a jury on March 30, 2023, as a habitual fourth offender for the assault of a 7-year-old girl and had previously been registered as a sex offender.  

The assault, which was captured on a “nannycam” by the victim’s mother, took place on Feb. 11, 2021, at the victim’s home while her mother was in another room. Once the assault was discovered, the victim’s mother confronted Harvala, demanded that he immediately leave her home, and then called the police.

“I’m grateful to the court for granting the significant sentence we sought of this habitual offender, and to the victim’s family for continuing the pursuit of justice for their daughter,” said Nessel.

“Our hope, with a sentence of this length, is that this child may grow up and live freely knowing the man who assaulted her is nowhere in her community, and that he is not in a position to victimize more children.” 

The Dickinson County Prosecutor’s Office asked the Attorney General’s office to review the case.

The prosecutor’s office provided the Department of Attorney General with full access to their office’s resources, such as their victim advocate, their existing case files, and their child screen so that the victim would not be required to look at the defendant in court.