The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a Ludington man’s 2015 jury trial conviction for five counts of criminal sexual conduct will stand.

Benjamin Bentz was convicted by a jury on four felony counts of criminal sexual conduct — first degree and a fifth felony count of criminal sexual conduct — second degree. He was sentenced to 25 to 75 years in prison for the first-degree CSC counts concurrently, but consecutively to the CSC second-degree count, which was another 7 to 15 years.

He is currently serving time at Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon Heights, according to online records from the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Bentz appealed his case from 51st Circuit Court to the court of appeals. An initial appeal reached the state supreme court, which then sent it back down to the circuit court for what is known as a Ginther hearing — a hearing questioning whether the defense attorney trying the case was ineffective.

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The Managing Editor for the Ludington Daily News since June 2018 and on the staff since Oct. 2011, taking over for legendary Lloyd Wallace. Previously with The Chippewa Herald in Chippewa Falls, Wis., and the Tuscola County Advertiser in Caro.