Marilyn Manson Facing Reduced Charges In Crotch-Rubbing Case

Judge says offense doesn’t warrant felony charge.

Marilyn Manson had a felony charge of criminal sexual conduct reduced to a misdemeanor on Friday — one of two charges stemming from a July 30 incident in which he allegedly rubbed his crotch on a security guard's head during a show.

Clarkston, Michigan, Judge Gerald E. McNally heard testimony from the victim and a witness — who was also a security guard at the concert — during a preliminary examination of the charges. McNally said he wasn't convinced the offense warranted a felony charge and lessened it to a misdemeanor disorderly persons charge, according to an Oakland County District Court spokesperson.

A second charge of misdemeanor assault and battery still stands. If convicted on both counts, Manson faces up to 90 days in jail, according to assistant prosecutor Ken Frazee.

"Legally, I don't think his ruling was correct," said Frazee, who'll have approximately a month and a half to appeal the decision.

Manson's attorney, Walter Piszczatowski, was prepared to show the court a videotape of the incident that occurred at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, where Manson allegedly approached 25-year-old Joshua Keasler, spit on the man's head and proceeded to rub his G-string-clad genitalia about Keasler's head and neck (see "Marilyn Manson Accused Of Rubbing Crotch On Man's Head"). The judge was able to make his decision on the matter without seeing it, Piszczatowski said.

A copy of the tape was given to the prosecution, and Piszczatowski said he believes that after Keasler and his legal counsel view it, they won't appeal and the two parties will resolve the matter out of court before a pretrial hearing scheduled for March 18.

Though Manson (born Brian Warner) was present in the courtroom, he did not offer testimony. "It was never my intention to call him to testify," Piszczatowski said.

On September 21, Manson pleaded not guilty to felony fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and misdemeanor assault and battery (see "Manson Pleads Not Guilty To Sexual Assault On Security Guard"). Friday's hearing was the result of an adjournment from the originally scheduled November 9 date.

Earlier this month, a second man, from Minnesota, claimed to have also been victimized by Manson's stage act and filed a $75,000 civil suit against the controversial icon (see "Second Man Claims To Be Victim Of Marilyn Manson's Crotch"). A date for that hearing has yet to be set.