Friday, June 16, 2000

Mayor Gerald "Ajax" Ackerman - Sentenced - Port Huron

Also See:

Port Huron Mayor Gerald "Ajax" Ackerman charged for sexual assaults [April 07, 1999]


Ex-mayor draws long prison term
Wilmington Morning Star
June 20, 2000
Port Huron, Mich. - The former mayor, a tattooed biker once lauded for beating drugs and serving as a role model for troubled youth, was sentenced Monday to at least 18 years in prison for sexual misconduct involving three young girls.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Pete Deegan sentenced Gerald "Ajax" Ackerman to 18 to 36 years on one count of first-degree crminal sexual conduct for an act taht took place in 1999. Under truth-in-sentencing guidelines, he must serve the minimum sentence.

Mr. Ackerman, 43, also was sentenced to 25 to 38 years of four additional counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, acts that took place in 1998, said St. Clair county Assistant Prosecutor Mona Armstrong. Truth-in-sentencing doesn't apply to those counts.

Ex-Michigan mayor gets up to 38 years in sex case
The Blade
Toledo, Ohio
June 20, 2000

Port Huron, Mich. [AP] - Former Mayor Gerald 'Ajax" Ackerman was sentenced yesterday to up to 38 years in prison after being found guilty of having sex with underage girls.

Meanwhile, the building where some of the sexual misconduct allegedly took place is covered in weeds and dandelions. Just over a year ago, youngsters gathered to play pool, hang out with friends, and listen to bands play at the Clear Choices building.

The brainchild of Ackerman has remained closed since his April 6, 1999, arrest on charges he sexually molested underage girls. He resigned as the city's mayor a day later.

St. Clair County Judge Pete Deegan sentenced Ackerman, 43, yesterday for his convictions on 10 felony counts of criminal sexual conduct in his retrial last month. Ackerman received 25-38 years in prison on four of the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges - acts that took place in 1998 said Mona Armstrong, St. Clair County assistant prosecutor.

On the fifth count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Ackerman received 18 - 36 years because the act occurred in 1999. That conviction must follow truth-in-sentencing guidelines, which means Ackerman won't be released for good behavior and must serve the minimum sentence, Ms. Armstrong said.

Ackerman was found guilty of having sex and oral sex with 8- and 12-year-old girls, as well as fondling them and taking nude photos of them in sexually explicit positions. He also was found guilty of forcing an 11-year-old girl to fondle him.

A jury convicted Ackerman of nine counts of indecent exposure last October but deadlocked on the charges on which he was retired. He was sentenced to a year in jail on the indecent exposure conviction.

Clear Choices was founded by Ackerman in 1995 as a place for teenagers and young adults to go to escape the streets and troubled homelives.

Now that Ackerman has been sentenced to prison, it is no known what will happen to the Clear Choices building or the programs. The building was bought in july 1998, after the center's original building was turned into a parking lot in 1997.

According to the county's Register of Deeds office, no one has been making payments on the building, which is deeded to Clear Choices, Inc. In March, Citizens First Savings bank, which hold the mortgage, foreclosed on the building and tried to auction it off. No one bid on it.

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