In a sentencing hearing that began at about 10:30 a.m. and lasted about an hour, 32-year-old Michael Louis McIntosh was sentenced to life in prison — without the possibility of parole — by Circuit Court Judge Howard M. Maltz.
McIntosh was convicted yesterday by a St Johns County jury on charges that he sexually abused and molested boys under the age of 12; boys who prosecutors say trusted him and spent time at his home.
First to speak this morning were victims and their family members who retold the court the trauma that has occurred in their lives during the past two years at the hands of Michael McIntosh.
The grandmother of one of the victims said that she fears her grandson has lost his faith in God, although another victim told Judge Maltz, “I’m going to have a good life.” The boy’s mother said that the last two years have been overwhelming for her; she says that she is heartbroken and that the abuse has been unfair to her son — who she described as “strong”, an “amazing leader”, and “my hero.”
A number of family members spoke in support of McIntosh; all, including his father, Donald McIntosh, said that they “feel pride” for the defendant, “I can still hug my son and feel no shame,” his father told the judge.
McIntosh’s sister, Lisa Bell, said her brother’s faith in God was strong and he has nothing but love in his heart — a common theme was expressed that McIntosh continues to have his family’s support.
James McIntosh, who identified himself as Michael McIntosh’s “big brother” testified that even though they were 9-years apart in age, in many ways they were “like twins”. After tearful comments about his brother’s love for airplanes and becoming a pilot and flight instructor, James McIntosh concluded by saying that he and his brother can “hold our heads high”.
McIntosh’s nephew and Godson, Nicholas Bell, said he knows his uncle has a strong dedication to his family and concluded his comments with a passage from the book of Joshua: “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
As each family member approached the court, McIntosh was noticeably moved to tears. The defendant did not speak before his sentencing; instead his attorney, Jason Porter, read a prepared statement — it contained no apologies to the victims or their families.
Instead, through his attorney, he said, “My family’s love and prayers sustain me”. He also said that his family ties “go beyond what has been said about me in the media”.
After a brief recess, Judge Maltz returned to the bench and spoke directly to the defendant. “By your actions, you’ve sentenced the victims in this case to a life sentence of emotional turmoil that can’t be undone,” the Judge said. “Your conduct has demonstrated that you do not deserve to walk this earth as a free man and with my sentence today, I’m going to assure that that is the case.”
Michael Louis McIntosh will be classified as a sexual predator for the rest of his life.
On the first three counts of Sexual Battery on Person Less than 12 Years of Age, McIntosh was sentenced to life in prison without parole — to run concurrently (at the same time).
On the fourth count of Sexual Battery on Person Less than 12 Years of Age, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole — to run consecutively (following the completion of) the concurrent life sentences.
On the fifth count of Sexual Battery on Person Less than 12 Years of Age, McIntosh received a third life sentence without parole — to run consecutively — after completion of the life sentence in count 4.
Charge 6 – Lewd or Lascivious Molestation Victim Less than 12 Years of Age, a first degree felony; earned McIntosh another life sentence, concurrent with counts 1-3, upon which he will be eligible for parole after 25 years.
Charge 7 – Lewd or Lascivious Conduct Victim Less than 12 Years of Age, a second degree felony; sentenced to 15 years in prison – to run concurrently with count 5.
Charge 8 – Lewd or Lascivious Molestation Victim Less than 12 Years of Age, a first degree felony; earned McIntosh a final life sentence, concurrent with count 4, upon which he will be eligible for parole after 25 years.
In an “abundance of caution”, McIntosh’s attorney asked the court to assign a public defender to represent McIntosh; in case he decides to appeal the judgments and sentences within the next 30 days.