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Sparta sex offender wants his 15+ year prison sentence nixed due to coronavirus

“Prison was not implemented to be a random extermination camp,’’ Ryan Hayes wrote. His request for early release comes 10 months after he was sentenced.
Credit: Kent County Jail
Ryan Hayes was sentenced last summer to 188 months for sexual exploitation of a minor.

SPARTA, Mich — He was sentenced last summer to more than 15 years in prison for sexually exploiting a girl, and now, former Sparta councilman Ryan James Hayes wants a “compassionate release’’ discharge because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Prison was not implemented to be a random extermination camp,’’ Hayes wrote a federal judge last week seeking early release.

He was sentenced to prison in July of 2019 for sexual exploitation of a minor. Hayes, 35, admitted to using a cellphone to take photographs of a 16-year-old performing oral sex on him.

He was a member of the Sparta Village Council when charges were filed in Grand Rapids federal court.

Hayes is one of hundreds of federal prisoners asking for early release due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

He is at the Elkton federal prison in Lisbon, Ohio, which has seen nine inmate deaths attributed to COVID-19. The federal Bureau of Prisons reported 64 federal inmate deaths as of Wednesday, May 27.

In his petition, Hayes says he is not a flight risk. Any term short of a life sentence "can be served with alternate confinement (house arrest/home confinement) or fine,'' he wrote in a letter dated May 20, 2020.

Hayes was sentenced in July of 2019 to 188 months in prison. U.S. District Court Judge Janet T. Neff also ordered that Hayes serve five years on supervised release once he gets out of prison and pay a $5,100 special assessment.

Hayes became involved in the illegal conduct “solely for sexual gratification, and no other gain,’’ defense attorney Heath M. Lynch wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

Hayes was appointed to the Sparta Village Council in February of 2018. He resigned in late October after criminal charges were filed.


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