(03/11/13) - Two former basketball players at Heritage High School in Saginaw Township are in jail after being sentenced for engaging in sex acts with an underaged girl at the school.
Both men, who are now 19 years old, got five years probation - but the jail time came as a surprise to the family of one.
It looked like Preston Walker was heading into a promising senior season at Heritage High, but that all came to an end on Dec. 14, 2011. Now, he's in jail.
"Potentially, he has great basketball ability, sports ability," said Rodney O'Farrell, Walker's attorney.
Preston Walker, known to family and friends as PJ, plead guilty to one court of gross indecency earlier this year. He was expelled from Heritage High School after he was accused of engaging in sexual acts with a 14-year-old girl.
Deon Fleming, his teammate at the time, plead guilty to two counts of gross indecency. They were both 17 when the crimes were committed.
"I think, frankly, judge with the maturity level, none of these young people considered what they were doing, when they were doing it and unfortunately the impact it would have on all of them," O'Farrell said.
The mother of the victim spoke before the two men were sentenced.
"The saddest part is she knew these boys and considered them her friends, she trusted them and never thought they would hurt her, she was wrong, very wrong," she said.
She asked Circuit Court Judge Robert Kaczmarek for a tough sentence.
"We hope this sentencing will make them think about what they did and for a very long time," she said.
Kaczmarek sentenced Walker to five years probation, but after 10 years, his criminal conviction could be expunged. Fleming also got five years probation, but his criminal conviction cannot be expunged, and he also got 9 months in jail. Walker got 90 days.
"Hearing that was kind of devastating," said Maya Brown, Walker's sister.
Brown believes the punishment was too harsh.
"The five years probation, I think that is sufficient for him, he's a great kid, this is the first time he's had a criminal problem," she said.
Both Walker and Fleming will also have to be listed on the Michigan Sex Offender registry.
ABC12 Main Station