Aldrich pleads guilty

By KURT HAUGLIE

khauglie@mininggazette.com

HOUGHTON – A former Houghton High School assistant hockey coach pleaded guilty to a charge of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct Monday in Houghton County Circuit Court.

In Judge Charles Goodman’s court, Brad Aldrich pleaded guilty to the charge, and as part of the plea agreement, Houghton County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Makinen dismissed a count of third degree CSC, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. The fourth degree CSC to which Aldrich pleaded guilty has a maximum penalty of two years in state prison and/or a $500 fine.

Makinen said the charge has wording indicating Aldrich used his authority as a hockey coach to gain access to the victim, who was not named.

During the proceeding, Goodman asked Aldrich, his attorneys, Sarah Henderson and Matt Eliason, and Makinen if they all understood and agreed to details of the plea agreement. He asked Aldrich if he understood by making the plea he would be giving up his right to a trial, and Aldrich said he did understand.

After Aldrich made the guilty plea, Goodman told him to explain why he was doing so, and Aldrich said in March 2013 he had sexual touching with a member of the hockey team who was at least 16 years old but less than 18 years old.

Goodman revoked bond for Aldrich, and remanded him to the custody of Houghton County Sheriff Brian McLean. Aldrich will be sentenced in about four weeks.

Neither the victim or any family members were present in court Monday.