John Tunison, Michigan Live, August 24, 2018
A story about a white man urinating on a 5-year-old black child and calling her a racial slur was fabricated, police said.
Grand Rapids police and prosecutors late Friday, Aug. 24 said they determined the story was not valid and said no charges would be issued against a 60-year-old man arrested following the initial report on Wednesday.
Police said several children, all 7 or younger, were playing together sometime before 6 p.m. Wednesday when one of the children urinated on the 5-year-old girl.
Kent County prosecutors said the parents of the children, in talking with them, ultimately determined the children “concocted the story to avoid trouble.”
Prosecutors said the 60–year-old man had a “verifiable alibi” from other people who vouched for his whereabouts.
The allegations, when first reported late Wednesday, caused concern across the community and NAACP leaders on Friday said the incident should be considered both a hate crime and sex assault.
“But this is a prime example of why it’s so important to wait until all the evidence has been gathered and the criminal investigation has been completed before jumping to any conclusions,” he said.
Becker said the children involved with making the complaint were first interviewed by trained specialists with the Children’s Advocacy Center, but they didn’t admit the truth until later when their parents talked with them further.
[Editor’s Note: What follows is the original story.]
John Agar, Michigan Live, August 24, 2018
The local NAACP says a man who allegedly urinated on a young black girl, and used a racial slur, should face sex-assault and hate-crime charges.
The 60-year-old suspect is held in the Kent County Jail. Kent County prosecutors are waiting for Grand Rapids police to complete the investigation before deciding on potential charges.
“This is clearly a case of child molestation, as well as a hate crime, and should be treated as such,” Cle Jackson, president of the Greater Grand Rapids National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said in a Friday, Aug. 24, statement.
The suspect has a history of mental illness and sexual assault, court records show. He is accused of urinating on a 5-year-old girl through a fence, and calling her the N-word, while several children played hide-and-seek Wednesday, Aug. 22, near the West Leonard library branch on Leonard Street NW.
The local NAACP is “demanding” that prosecutors charge the man with sexual assault, assault and a hate crime. The organization is “monitoring the situation and working with law enforcement to ensure that all investigative processes are thorough.”
It said that if charges are filed the man should “be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”