In March, 17-year-old Brady Township resident Brandon T. Atkins was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl who is a relative; Atkins was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct against someone under the age of 13.
At his arraignment hearing on March 18, Atkins pleaded not guilty to the offense before Saginaw County District Judge Terry L. Clark. Atkins was placed in jail and held without bond pending his April 1 preliminary hearing.
On Monday, April 1, Atkins preliminary hearing was held before Chief District Judge M. Randall Jurrens in Saginaw County Court. Christopher Boyd, Saginaw County Chief Assistant Prosecutor, said in a news article at Mlive.com that when the 5-year-old alleged victim was questioned about details ranging from where she lived to the alleged sexual assault, the response to nearly every question was that she did not remember. Prosecutors dropped the charge against Atkins.
Boyd said prosecutors determined that there was insufficient evidence to proceed to trial, and that the claims will continue to be investigated by authorities. He also added that the charges may be re-filed by the prosecutor’s office at any time.
First-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious of all sex-related offenses, and carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years when a victim is younger than 13. The maximum penalty for this offense is life in prison.
Michigan sex crime attorneys see cases involving young children on a frequent basis, and know that many times innocent people are accused of crimes they did not commit. While it is not known if any crime was actually committed in this case, children are often coerced into saying things that are not true by parents or other adults. When an individual is convicted of a sex offense, it will have a negative impact on his or her life forever.
If you have been falsely accused of sexual assault, rape, child molestation or any sex-related offense, it is critical that you contact a skilled Michigan sex crime lawyer immediately. Your attorney will work vigorously to protect your freedom, reputation, and future.