Saripkin has used aliases for other sex crime charges

Published 4:02 pm Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Michael Saripkin, 61, charged with fondling a child last week, remains in the Panola County Jail and will likely stay there. Law officials believe he will not be allowed to bond out, and expect to present his case at the next seating of a county Grand Jury.

Since his arrest on Aug. 17, an investigation has revealed that Saripkin has been in legal trouble for at least 30 years for a variety of sex charges, including under another name in the Jackson area.

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He was convicted in Tennessee of sexual battery in 1990 and statutory rape in 1997.

Almost 25 years ago, Saripkin was charged in Madison County under the name of Michael C. Levine, accused of rape and child molestation, and was held on a $1 million bond.

An article in the Jackson newspaper at the time said Levine was an ex-youth leader at a local church. A statement he gave to police, and read in court, said Levine (Saripkin) told authorities, “I know that I am guilty. I have expressed to investigators that I have a problem.”

In the same interview, Levine told police he was bi-sexual and was attracted to teenage boys. The newspaper reported that during his arraignment he told a city judge he considers himself a pedophile and asked the court not to lower his $1 million bond.

That charge involved a 13-year-old boy. Levine (Saripkin) was apparently arrested by the Kansas Highway Patrol after they stopped him for speeding and discovered he was wanted in Mississippi. He had moved to Salina, Kan., to evade the charges here, officials believed.

A national sex offender website attributes lots of alias to Saripkin including, Michael Levine, Clay Levine, Mike Levine, and Thomas Henley.

Because national record keeping has become more standardized only in the last few years, law officials are really unsure how many times Saripkin has been arrested on suspicion of child molestation, in how many different cities, or under what names.

Panola County Sheriff Shane Phelps, who personally arrested Saripkin last week, said he is aware of the aliases and the legal procedures from years ago.

On July 17, 2013, he was convicted in Panola County of inappropriately touching a child and has been on probation for several years.

Since then the businessman has continued to live in Sardis. He is represented by Tony Fareese of Ashland, according to jail records.