Monday, July 11, 2016

Sentencing disparities noted in local cases

The June 16 News-Review headline was, “Jail time for Petoskey man,” (six months for Bradley Kussrow, initially charged with raping a sleeping woman). Recently another 20-year-old man, a Stanford student, received a six month jail sentence as well as a Criminal Sexual Offender’s designation for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. The California victim’s statement went viral, resulting in thousands signing a petition to remove the judge from office for leniency.
But Kussrow accepted a plea bargain of unlawful imprisonment, down from two counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct (defined basically as sexual penetration). According to the paper, he admitted most of what he had done, probably because the owner of the house unlocked his bedroom door and caught Kussrow “... trying to put his pants back on.” But Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said he “had a problem with that he would be labeled a sex offender the rest of his life.” Really? What is someone who sexually assaults a woman?
Telgenhof apparently believed that Kussrow just made a mistake. He’s quoted as saying, “We’re hoping he gets past this and learns,” although Kussrow “hasn’t taken full responsibility.” Is the victim just supposed to “get past this?”
The prosecutor dismissed the pain and trauma of the victim, who will live the rest of her life with the searing memory of a violent assault, with “hopefully she continues to recover.” Did he not hear the victim’s statement? “...(Kussrow) sucked the life away from me and left a shell of depression.” Kussrow wasn’t ordered to pay for her therapy. Kussrow didn’t even receive a fine.
The June 15 News-Review headline was, “Man gets 9 months in jail for cat abuse.”
And the cat abuser was fined $1,005. Maybe this story should go viral.
Sally Goshorn
Source - Petoskey News Review:

Telgenhof and Judge Janet Allen  - again

Kussrow sentenced to 6 months in jail on false imprisonment charge

Some Exerpts

"A former Otsego County resident was sentenced to six months of jail and three years probation Thursday by Judge Janet Allen Thursday in 46th Circuit Court.
Bradley Kussrow, 20, of Petoskey, was originally charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct, third degree, and one count of criminal sexual conduct, fourth degree. He accepted a plea agreement and entered a guilty plea to the reduced charge of felony unlawful imprisonment on May 5."

"Because Kussrow’s father is a retired Gaylord City Police detective, the Michigan Attorney General’s office was asked to appoint a special prosecutor, and Charlevoix Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof was appointed.
Telgenhof said the original charges were dropped to spare the victim from going through a trial.
“What would happen is we would have to go through a preliminary and we thought of what would that do to the victim," he said. "She has to relive everything all over again. Then it would intensify in the trial. We had to think of what’s best for her well being. The family was supportive and they understood.”

“Because of this (the way he was prosecuted), he admitted to most of what he did. He guaranteed accountability,” Telgenhof said. “Part of the deal was that he admit to what he did. She got a certain conviction. My job is also not to just hammer the defendant and put him away for the rest of his life. Part of our job, and a lot of people don’t realize this, is to seek justice and that includes Kussrow. Part of my job is to think of what’s fair. I had a problem with that he would be labeled a sex offender the rest of his life. Hopefully she continues to recover. We’re hoping he gets past this and learns.”
And another case in Charlevoix that gives the appearance of special treatment.

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