Anthony Breidenbach was charged with “indecent exposure as a sexually delinquent person” after he exposed himself to a woman at a Flint Township bookstore; at the time, he was on parole from prison for a similar offense. At trial, the prosecutor presented specific testimony related to Breidenbach’s two prior convictions for similar crimes, and his parole agent testified about his extensive criminal history of related offenses. The jury convicted Anthony Breidenbach as charged, and the judge sentenced him to one day to life in prison.
Anthony Breidenbach appealed to the Court of Appeals and filed a motion to remand the case to the trial court so that it could consider his motion for a new trial. Breidenbach contended that the trial court had violated MCL 767.61a and People v Helzer, 404 Mich 410 (1978), and that he had been denied the effective assistance of trial counsel. MCL 767.61a establishes the procedures that apply to a charge of sexual delinquency: “In any prosecution for an offense committed by a sexually delinquent person for which may be imposed an alternate sentence to imprisonment for an indeterminate term, the minimum of which is 1 day and the maximum of which is life, the indictment shall charge the offense and may also charge that the defendant was, at the time said offense was committed, a sexually delinquent person. Upon a verdict of guilty to the first charge or to both charges or upon a plea of guilty to the first charge or to both charges the court may impose any punishment provided by law for such offense.” In Helzer, the Michigan Supreme Court held that a charge of sexual delinquency must be tried separately before a different jury. Breidenbach contended that, under Helzer, he should have been tried on the exposure charge and then had a new trial on the sexual delinquency charge. The Court of Appeals granted the remand motion, retaining jurisdiction. On remand, the trial judge granted Breidenbach’s motion for a new trial, agreeing that he was entitled to relief under Helzer. The Court of Appeals then remanded the case to the trial court for a new trial, finding Breidenbach’s application to be moot. The prosecutor appeals.