REED CITY  — A Reed City man who initially faced a maximum penalty of life in prison for criminal sexual conduct was sentenced on Friday to much less time as the result of a plea agreement.

Christopher Michael Randall, 24, of Reed City, was first charged with four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, but those charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement with the Osceola County Prosecutor's Office.

Instead, Randall pleaded no contest to three new charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced in Osceola County's 49th Circuit Court to seven years and one month to 15 years in prison, with credit for 136 days already served.

Randall was arrested in October on the original criminal sexual conduct charges. According to the initial charging sheet, the incidents happened around Sept. 1 in Lincoln Township and involved a girl younger than 13 years old.

Before Judge Scott Hill-Kennedy handed down the sentence, Randall's attorney, Dennis DuVall, stated although it was wrong, the two were in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, and his client is not a threat to society.

"He recognizes the seriousness of the offense and has accepted and is willing to take the punishment," DuVall said.

Hill-Kennedy stressed to Randall that the responsibility falls on him as an adult to not pursue or get involved in a relationship with a young girl, despite claims she encouraged the situation.

"A 24-year-old man like you has to take control of the situation and not have sexual relations with a very young person," Hill-Kennedy said. "That's a given in our society. There are laws and it's wholly unacceptable. No matter what the victim may have done, it's not the victim's fault. The older adult has to take control and prevent this. It's a serious crime and there are serious consequences."

Along with serving time in prison, Randall will be required to register as a Tier 3 sex offender for life as part of his sentence.