Teen's sentence for rape of 12-year-old girl sparks protest in Howell

Parents of 12-year-old girl say justice hasn't been served

HOWELL, Mich. – Protesters gathered outside a Howell courthouse Monday after a teenager was sentenced for the sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl.

The case has ripped the tight-knit community apart, and it culminated Tuesday in court. The teenager, who isn't being named since he's a juvenile, was sentenced by a judge. But the parents of the 12-year-old girl said justice hasn't been served.

Friends, families and neighbors of young rape victims joined the protest, saying they felt they have been lied to by the court.

The 15-year-old boy was initially charged with 31 felony counts of criminal sexual conduct against multiple underage victims. As part of a plea deal, those 31 counts were reduced to six counts with a requirement that he enter a residential treatment program for sex offenders.

Livingston County Circuit Judge Dave Reader revoked that part of the plea agreement.

Reader removed himself from the case, handing it instead to a court referee.

The parents of one victim said nobody is calling for the boy to be thrown in prison, but they don't understand why the judge would overrule a treatment program.

You can watch Steve Garagiola's full story in the video posted above.

About the Authors: