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156616 - People v John Antonya Moss

The People of the State of Michigan,

 

Aaron Mead

 

Plaintiff-Appellee,

 

v

(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)

 

 

(Berrien – Howard, D.)

 

John Antonya Moss,

 

Christine Pagac

 

Defendant-Appellant.

 

Summary

The 25-year-old defendant had sexual relations with a 17-year-old woman after they were adopted by the same woman, making them adoptive siblings. Defendant and his adoptive sister do not share a biological parent in common and did not reside in the same household. Defendant pled guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct (sexual penetration of another person who is related by blood or affinity to the third degree), MCL 750.520d(1)(d), in exchange for dismissal of other charges, including CSC-III (sexual penetration accomplished by force or coercion), MCL 750.520d(1)(b). Defendant subsequently moved to withdraw his plea, arguing that there was an insufficient factual basis to establish the required relationship. The trial court denied the motion, and the Court of Appeals denied leave to appeal for lack of merit in the grounds presented. The Supreme Court has directed oral argument on defendant’s application for leave to appeal to address whether adoptive siblings are related by blood or affinity, and whether the proper definition of “affinity” is that found in Bliss v Caille Bros Co, 149 Mich 601 (1907), or People v Armstrong, 212 Mich App 121 (1995).​