On Monday November 25, a 14-year-old Niles Township girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by an unknown suspect. Berrien County sheriff’s deputies were in pursuit of the man and requesting the public’s help; he has now been apprehended in large part to social media according to various news reports.
The alleged victim told authorities that she was walking near the intersection of Red Bud Trail on River Road when the suspect picked her up at approximately 4 p.m. She told police she did not know the man. The suspect, who was described as approximately 5′ 8″ to 5′ 10″ tall, 240 lbs., with brown eyes and brown hair allegedly sexually assaulted her at two different locations in Niles Township that evening.
Photographs of the suspect were released to the public; the images were captured of the man and his vehicle at a BP gas station in Buchanan prior to the alleged assault. The vehicle is described as a four-door Pontiac sedan, possibly a Bonneville or Grand Am which is blue or black in color believed to be a late 90s or early ’00s model.
Since the story first broke, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department announced they have captured and arrested the 25-year-old suspect. Authorities are crediting social media to helping them locate the Buchanan man, who was found the next day after the images were circulated on Facebook, according to WSJM.com. After allegedly assaulting the victim, the man dropped the girl off at a nearby mobile home park. The suspect has been charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct; his name is being withheld pending arraignment.
If convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, the man could face a life prison term. First-degree CSC is the most serious of all sex crime offenses, and involves penetration. Individuals who are convicted of sex crimes face not only harsh criminal penalties, but a lifetime stigma, ruined career and reputation, and more.
Anyone who has been accused of or charged with rape, Internet sex crimes, possession of child pornographic material, or any sex offense must obtain the legal support and guidance of a seasoned Michigan sex crime defense lawyer immediately. Your freedom and future are at great risk; you must take action at once to protect yourself.