UPDATE: 2 of 3 men charged with child trafficking felonies in Sault Ste. Marie await jury trials

The third man, Micah Rickerd, will be sentenced in September.
From Left to Right: Nowicki, Simpkin, Rickerd.
From Left to Right: Nowicki, Simpkin, Rickerd.(WLUC)
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 5:47 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2022 at 2:58 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (WLUC) - UPDATE: Two of three men charged with felonies connected to child trafficking in Sault Ste. Marie will appear for Jury Trials.

Aaron Nowicki of Cheboygan, Benjamin Simpkin of Sault Ste Marie, and Micah Rickerd, were arrested by the Chippewa County Sheriff’s department in August 2021.

Nowicki, Simpkin, and Rickerd are all charged with the following felonies: one count of accosting children for immoral purposes, two counts of using computers to commit a crime, and one count of child sexually abusive activity.

Rickerd is also charged with lying to a peace officer, a high misdemeanor.

Nowicki will appear for a jury trial in Chippewa County Circuit Court on Jan. 11, 2023 at 8:30 a.m. His jury trial was previously set for Sept. 7 at 9:30 a.m. Simpkin’s jury trial is scheduled for Nov. 11 at 8:30 a.m.

Rickerd will be sentenced on Sept. 27 at 8:30 a.m., following a plea agreement. He plead guilty to count three, child abusive activity — a felony. The other charges against him were dropped on a nolle prosequi ruling.

For more information on the arrests, see the original article below.

Last published: Aug 17, 2021 7:40:57 PM

Three men face multiple felony charges in Sault Ste. Marie in connection to child trafficking.

According to the Chippewa County Sheriff’s department, among the three arrested on Sunday during a “ghost” operation was 37-year-old Aaron Nowicki who is a non-practicing catholic priest.

Nowicki is from Cheboygan but works in Sault Ste. Marie.

According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette, Nowicki resigned and was removed from ministry in 2019 because of allegations of serious, but not criminal, sexual misconduct with a vulnerable adult.

23-year-old Micah Rickerd, a college student and 41-year-old Benjamin Simpkin, a Sault Ste. Marie man who works in foodservice were also arrested.

All three men are charged with one count of Accosting a Child for Immoral Purposes, two counts of Using a Computer to Commit a Crime, and one count of Child Sexually Abusive Activity.

All three suspects were arraigned in the 91st district court on Sunday and have a Probable Cause Conference scheduled for August 26.

Their bond was set at $100,000 each.

Copyright 2021 WLUC. All rights reserved.