2017-06-29 / Courts

30 years for sexual assaults

A 34-year-old Peshawbestown man was sentenced to serve 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple charges of having sex with a child.

Jon Nathaniel-Nunghons Brenner pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl between March and September 2015, while babysitting for her in a Peshawbestown home.

The girl reported the abuse to her mother in October 2015. An investigation by Grand Traverse Band (GTB) of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Tribal Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) resulted in the filing of formal charges against Brenner in May 2016.

“The sexual exploitation of children is sadly often perpetrated by adults whose parents know and mistakenly trust,” said David P. Gelios, special agent for the Detroit Division of the FBI. “As evidenced by the 30-year sentence in this case, sexual predators need to understand the FBI, our law enforcement partners, and our court system will utilize every tool in our toolbox to protect children from the Jon Brenners of the world and all those like him.”

After originally being charged with seven felony counts, Brenner pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault in November.

Because the incidents took place on land held in trust for the GTB, the crime falls under federal jurisdiction. The case was adjudicated in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids.

During sentencing, federal prosecutors presented documents stating that Brenner had previously sexually assaulted his biological sister, who was a child at the time.

In announcing the sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Janet T. Neff remarked on the terrible nature of the sexual assaults on a very young and vulnerable girl, and the likely lifelong consequences they would have on her.

Neff ordered “supervised release for life” at the end of Brenner’s prison term.

The defendant and victim are enrolled GTB members.

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