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Posted on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti man pleads guilty to exposing teen to HIV; sentencing agreement calls for 3-15 years

By John Counts


Leonardo Devinci Christian

Courtesy of WCSO

The HIV-positive Ypsilanti man accused of sexually assaulting four teen boys took a plea deal Tuesday in the Washtenaw County Trial Court.

Leonardo Devinci Christian, 53, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year maximum felony; and one count of sexual penetration by a person with AIDS/HIV on an uninformed partner, a four-year felony.

Numerous other related charges, including a case that was adjourned in the 14A-1 District Court on Tuesday morning, will be dismissed at the time of sentencing. Prosecutors also agreed not to bring any more charges against Christian.

Judge Donald Shelton accepted the pleas after questioning Christian about the nature of the two counts, which involved two of the four victims.

"Did you know you had AIDS?" Shelton asked Christian after establishing there was sexual contact with one of the victims.

"Yes," Christian said.

"Did you inform (the victim) you had AIDS?" Shelton asked.

"No," Christian said.

Christian is scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 29. The sentencing agreement that was part of the plea deal calls for a prison term at the bottom of the guidelines: 36 months to 15 years.

Three additional teenage boys have come forward since Christian was first charged of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy he met at one of the free holiday meals Christian organized for the Ypsilanti community. Police said Christian gave the boy and his family free tickets to a charity Christmas dinner held at Korey’s Krispy Krunchy Chicken and Coops Charity Poker Room, where the dinner had been held for the last three years.

Corey Barden, the restaurant's owner, said the meal will go on as planned this year despite Christian's incarceration. The charity dinner is planned for Wednesday, Dec. 19 from noon to 5 p.m. at the restaurant, located at 124 Pearl St., Ypsilanti.

"We didn't want to stop," Barden said. "We wanted to continue to give back to the community."

Christian once raised the lion's share of the money for the event through his fundraising organization. The main sponsorship has now been passed along to the Downtown Association of Ypsilanti. The dinner will be similar to the ones Christian put on, however. There will be turkey, ham, chicken, green beans and other refreshments for people of need, Barden said.

"Despite (Christian's) situation, it's a worthy thing for the community," said Downtown Association of Ypsilanti president David Heikkinen. "The event was bigger than him."

In addition to the annual holiday meals, Christian was a familiar face at Ypsilanti City Council meetings, which he videotaped for the website He also held many fundraisers for various causes in the community.

"The nerve that it takes to be ... unremorseful in front of people in influential positions, that kind of behavior is amazingly sick," said Ypsilanti City Councilman Ricky Jefferson, who was on hand in court for the plea deal Tuesday. "For all of us to miss the behavior underneath, that's a pretty clever guy."

Christian's attorney, Michael Vincent, said his client is "genuinely remorseful."

"It's the beginning of the end of a painful time for the Ypsilanti community," he added. "We wish the community will heal."

Christian faced 17 charges in three different cases relating to four victims. The 15 charges that will be dismissed at the time of sentencing are: two counts of CSC assault with intent of sexual penetration, six counts of third-degree CSC, three counts of sexual penetration by a person with AIDS/HIV on an uninformed partner, two counts of accosting children for immoral purposes and two counts of fourth-degree CSC.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sat, Dec 22, 2012 : 7:59 p.m.

It is amazing to me that you would get a longer sentence for drug possession.


Thu, Dec 20, 2012 : 2:19 a.m.

The sentence seems light at first blush, until you realize the public doesn't yet know whether other victims are now AIDS-infected, and then it seems really light.


Thu, Dec 20, 2012 : 6:38 a.m.

The fact that they were minors means he actually raped them and should get way more than 3 years on that alone, and if any of them have aids, he should automatically serve a life sentence.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 10:41 p.m.

judge sheldon should have gave him life but he got life with aids thay are going to really be sceard of him in prison stay away from him he got aidsssssssssssssss

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

If I was King Mr Christian would get something like 50-75 instead of 3-15.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 7:17 a.m.

Something tells me he's not going to make it the three years.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 7:09 a.m.

A sad conclusion to a Very Sad case. Leonardo did Very Good work for the Homeless. It breaks my heart that he committed these criminal violation(s). Aty Mike Vincent is to be Congratulated for Standing with Leonardo and negotiating the Plea Bargain.


Sat, Dec 22, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

Are you serious? Anything that he has done that was good in his whole life, is negated! Not only having sex with 4 minors, he exposed them to HIV. What plannet are you from? I am sure that you are a defense attorney.

John Counts

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 12:48 a.m.

Hi Richard Carter: From our previous reporting on this case, I believe one young man has tested negative for HIV. I have asked investigators at the Ypsilanti Police Department about the other victims and will update the story when I get that information.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 11:14 p.m.

Wow, punishment doesn't fit the crime. This guy should never be let out of prison.

Mulberry Bank

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:35 p.m.

3-15 years?! For sexually assaulting 4 teenagers?! And exposing them to HIV/AIDS?! Sure doesn't seem like we value our young men.

music to my ear

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1 a.m.

its all about the plea deal. for some reasons the courts like to hear yes I did it, but it make no sense we who do not study the law know darn well they should put him in prison and throw away the key. but the judge has guidelines and the perp does little time for his hideous crime. lets see how he does in prison .them guys dont like child molesters.

Richard Carter

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:04 p.m.

Any information on whether any of the victims has tested positive for, or tested and cleared for, HIV?


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

I would humbly suggest that Mr. Jefferson is amazingly ignorant about pedophiles or their "density" in Ypsilanti. Look it up. and I also be a bit skeptical of who he thinks matters or doesn't matter based on his use of "influencial"


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

maybe I should be more clear (and yes, my spelling generally sucks): Ypsi has a sex offender of one type or another for every 127 people. Ann Arbor has something like 1 for every 1000 people. State numbers are an even lower ration than that. There are far too many sex offenders living in Ypsi (City and township because they share zip codes). They are all over. Every race, every class. Nobody - no matter their social circle or "influentialness", in Ypsi doesn't know a sex offender. Mr. Jefferson seems to think there are good people and bad people and you can look at them and know the difference. The evidence combined with data seems pretty clear that isn't the case.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

as oppossed to all the good pedophiles in ann arbor?


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:08 p.m.

At least he could spell it.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

I seriously doubt that Mr. Christian will see the end of his term of incarceration.