In tears, the Westland woman accused of accepting money for sex from the husband of U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., began serving five days in jail today for violating the terms of her probation.
The decision, said 52-4 District Judge William Bolle, effectively ends the case.
It's been a long ride for the 21-year-old Alycia Martin, who is now eight months pregnant and engaged, said her pro bono attorney Frank Cusumano Jr. Martin, who dropped out of high school in the ninth grade and has been on her own since she was in her late teens, is working at a fast food restaurant, has a driver's license and is working to get her GED. She also voted for the first time in November. But her gas and electric has been shut off and she struggles to buy necessities like food, clothing and baby supplies.
She is, Cusumano said, the most broke she's ever been - but also the happiest, because she's a contributing member of society and no longer involved in prostitution.
"My car breaks down every other day," said Martin, shortly before she was led away by an Oakland County Sheriff's Office deputy. "There's nothing I can do. I can't walk here. And I don't have money for gas most of the time."
Martin had been sentenced in August to six months of probation on a misdemeanor trespassing charge after she was arrested in a prostitution sting in February 2008 at a Troy hotel. Initially charged with misdemeanor prostitution, she was sentenced by Bolle under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which allows first-time nonviolent offenders ages 17-21 to have their records wiped clean if they successfully complete probation.
Bolle revoked that privilege this morning.
According to court officials, Martin had not showed up for mandatory drug and alcohol testing since September. Cusumano has repeatedly said Martin, who makes less than $100 a week and shares a car with other family members, cannot afford to pay for the testing.
Tom Athans, Stabenow's husband since 2003, was not charged in exchange for his assistance in the case. He never testified because Martin pleaded guilty.
"Alycia will get through this," Cusumano said. "She'll serve her time. I don't know why he'd throw her in jail, but it underscores the whole thing. There is a disparity between wealth and poverty.
"What does this say about the city of Troy?"
BY Korie Wilkins - Free Press STAFF WRITER