Michael Jackson impersonator sentenced to up to 20 years

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – A popular celebrity impersonator is headed to jail.

Resident Ricardo West, 22, was sentenced in Wayne County Circuit Court Oct. 5 to serve up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to child sexually abusive activity and criminal sexual conduct.

West, who had performed a Michael Jackson tribute act in front of crowds of hundreds of Downriver residents in the past, was arrested April 14 regarding incidents that occurred with an 11-year-old boy between March 15 and April 9.

In addition to serving jail time, he will become a registered sex offender upon his release and also be subject to a lifetime of electronic monitoring.

West was accused of sending sexually explicit and graphic e-mails and text messages, including nude pictures of male body parts, to the young boy. He also was accused of sexually assaulting the boy in a City Hall bathroom.

During his arrest, police found a “Remarketing Plan” in West’s bedroom, which listed 11 items, including “be seen with adults in public,” “stop obsessively texting,” “cut off ties to ‘MJ’ in public” and “stop talking to kids in public.”

A preliminary examination of the evidence against West’s had been delayed twice, April 26 and June 28, in order to determine whether he was competent to stand trial. Once it was determined that he was, the preliminary exam finally took place Aug. 16.

(Contact Chris Jackett at cjackett@bewickpublications.com)