'This is a horrendous, brutal crime in our township'
Twp. 13- and 14-year-olds charged with nine felony counts in sexual assaults of younger boys
October 06, 2010 - Two Brandon Township youth, ages 13 and 14, are facing felony life sentences after allegedly sexually assaulting three younger boys.
The assaults began in September 2009 in the Sashabaw Meadows Mobile Home Park and were perpetrated against a 7-year-old, 9-year-old, and 10-year-old. Police are investigating the possibility of more victims.
"As much as we see, there is always something that knocks you off your feet," said Oakland County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Pete Burkett, commander of the Brandon substation. "This is a horrendous, brutal crime in our township, then add in that these are juveniles on juveniles and the brutality of it is sickening."
According to police reports, on Aug. 21, two fathers filed a report at the Brandon substation regarding the sexual assault of three of their children, by the suspects, who are two neighborhood boys. Suspect #1 is 13-years-old and was a student at Brandon Middle School. Suspect #2 is 14-years-old and was an Oxford Middle School student.
During CARE House interviews with the victims, the 9-year-old disclosed repeated assaults by suspect #1, who is also his half-brother. The assaults occurred at their mother's residence where the boys shared a room. The victim said that on multiple occasions, both suspect #1 and suspect #2 assaulted him.
Also during CARE House interviews, the 7- and 10-year-old victims disclosed that both suspects had sexually assaulted them, too. Most of the assaults took place at the home of suspect #1 when their mother would leave the boys unsupervised. The mothers of both suspects refused to be interviewed regarding the allegations. Child Protective Services is currently doing an investigation for neglect. The father of the 9-year-old victim is seeking to have the mother's visitation rights revoked.
The Oakland County Prosecutor's Office has designated the case, meaning that upon adjudication of guilt, both suspects may be sentenced as adults.
Suspect #1 was taken into custody on Sept. 24. He has been arraigned on three counts of criminal sexual conduct, first degree, a life felony, and two counts of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, a 10-year felony.
Suspect #2 was taken into custody on Sept. 28 and was arraigned the following day on three counts of criminal sexual conduct, first degree, and one count of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration. Both suspects are being held at Children's Village. During a pre-exam conference Oct. 4 by Oakland County Sixth Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Matthews, the suspects were ordered to be detained at Children's Village until their exam date, which is set for 1:30 p.m., Nov. 15, in front of Judge Mary Ellen Brennan.
Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper said that the designation of the case gives the judge the opportunity to do one of three things based on a finding of guilt and what is discovered during the trial. The judge can sentence under juvenile guidelines; sentence under adult guidelines; or, blend the sentences, with the suspects serving time in both a juvenile facility and in the adult system.
"We've requested the designation, which gives the judge discretion," said Cooper. "This is an extremely serious case, with multiple victims. We should let the judge make the determination as he sees fit."
"It's appropriate to charge them as adults— these are capital offenses," Burkett said. "This is no petty larceny or even petty assault. This ranks up there with murder. They are charged as adults to keep the public safe and possibly rehabilitate the offenders."
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Detective Dale Brown at 248-627-4911.
Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville