A review has upheld the controversial sentence for a Brighton Township teen charged with multiple sexual assaults.

The 16-year-old, who is not being identified because he was charged as a juvenile, originally faced 31 felonies, but entered into a plea deal in which he only admitted to six of the counts including first-degree criminal sexual conduct, accosting a minor for immoral purposes and possession of child sexually explicit material. The majority of the charges stemmed from allegations that he sexually assaulted three teen girls over the past two and a half years.

Last month he was ordered by Livingston County Juvenile Court Referee Chelsea Thomason to spend 45 days at the Monroe County Youth Center, but then will be allowed to return home and undergo outpatient sex offender rehabilitation. That was despite the plea agreement, which she was not legally bound by, stipulating he be admitted to a residential sex offender facility. The parents of the victims said they were “shocked” by the sentence and the referee’s refusal to follow the agreement.

Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt planned to seek a review of the sentence and tells WHMI that in fact, a review was carried out the very next day by the juvenile court judge, in this case Judge David Reader, who approved the referee’s decision. Vailliencourt tells WHMI that he is, “disheartened by the result,” but that courts “have very broad discretion in this area.” He added that while he disagrees with the decision, “that does not mean that the decision is an illegal one that can be overturned on appeal. The juvenile will be under the active supervision of the court for at least two more years, and the court will continue to have the ability to exercise control over the juvenile as it monitors him.”

Vailliencourt says his office will continue working to ensure that the victims in this case, as well as the community as a whole, are protected from this offender. (JK)