BRIGHTON (WWJ) — More than 100 local residents and students were outside the Livingston County judicial center this afternoon to support three sexual assault victims of a Brighton Township boy.
Parents, students and other local residents are worried about the 16-year-old boy possibly returning to the classroom after being charged with 20 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The teen received a sentence of 45 days in a youth facility after pleading guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
There were three victims in the case, including a 12-year-old girl who ran barefoot in the snow to a neighbor’s house after he tried to rape her a third time. The father of the victim is speaking out.
“How I found out was that she was arguing with another girl not to be alone with him because in telling her what happened to my daughter,” the parent told WWJ Newsradio 950. “He broke into our home. She let the dog out, he waited after getting off the bus, he showed up, she came out of the bathroom and he was in the kitchen trying to apologize, and then he assaulted her again.”
The Livingston Daily reported there were roughly 130 people outside the court today, where the boy would be in attendance for a review hearing in juvenile court. The protesters out in Brighton today were saying the sentence was too light, and raising concerns about the boy’s future conduct since he will not be on the sex offender registry.
With many worrying about the return of the boy, the Brighton School Board Superintendent Greg Gray released a statement on the manner, where he said the boy would not be back at Brighton High School.
“We are prohibited by federal privacy law from disclosing the disciplinary status of any student,” Gray said in an email sent to parents. “However, we can verify that the student will not be attending Brighton High School. While we can’t say more about individual cases, we want to reassure you that we are committed, first and foremost, to the safety of every student in our schools. Every decision we make as school administrators has the safety and well-being of our students at its center.”
Supporters of the victims that came out for today’s rally will be happy to hear the boy will not be returning to Brighton schools. However, they still worry that the punishment wasn’t enough and that his actions could only escalate.
“He held my daughter down, and tore her clothes off,” the father of a victim said. “… My thought is if he doesn’t get stopped or helped what’s it going to escalate to? What’s next, murder? Choking a child? Beating a child? It escalates.”