Meridian Township Held Press Conference To Provide Updates on CSC Initiatives
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Three months after Meridian Township officials promised to initiate three Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) Initiatives, the Township held a press conference this morning to provide an update on the status of those initatives.
At the conference, Meridian Township Manager Frank Walsh, Chief of Police David Hall and Assistant Police Chief Ken Plaga discussed the sexual assault training for the Meridian Township Police Department where Nassar survivor Brianne Randall-Gay provided a video statement to educate officers on sexual assault cases. They also gave an update on the community-wide Sexual Assault Prevention Program led by Randall-Gay. The committee, consisting of members from the Firecracker Foundation, Okemos Public Schools, Meridian Township Police Department, Meridian Township Board and Haslett Public Schools. met for the first time on April 27th.
Walsh said, "Three months ago, almost to the day, we stood in this room and made some commitments and promises to the community. I told you on that day I would hold Chief Hall and the police department accountable to bring three initiatives forward in the community."
Those initiatives were to expand the training when it comes to sexual assaults and preventing them, to complete and 18 year review from 2000 to 2017 of all criminal sexual conduct cases in Meridian Township. The third is to work with Brianna Randall-Gay to work as a community to develop a program to help prevent sexual assault.
Chief Hall discussed how last Thursday on April 26th, 22 members from the police department came to the Town Hall Room to be trained on sexual assault prevention.
Hall said it was very good training and it had hit all the concerns he had regarding training and the things he wanted to cover.
Assiant Police Chief Ken Plaga spoke on the cases that were reviewed.
Plaga said, "Well over 60 hours were spent reviewing 598 criminal sexual assault cases between the years 2000 and 2017. Of those cases 319 were reviewed by the Ingham County Prosectuors Office.
Plaga said 162 of those complaints, for various reasons, chose not to participate in the investigation. Plaga also said 35 of those cases had critical evidentiary issues that don't allow us to move forward with prosecution or investigation. Twenty-six cases that were reported to our agency were forwarded to other jurisdictions because the incident was found outside of their jurisdictional boundaries. Nine cases victims recanted their original allegations of assault. Plaga said 27 of the 598 cases, had an unknown perpetrator who couldn't be identified, 12 cases were currently opened in an investigative unit.
"Seven of those cases which I have reviewed are reopened to ensure that potential victims receive the justice they deserve," said Plaga.
One of the cases was Brianna Randall-Gay's case that was reviewed by the Michigan Attorney General's Office as part of the Nassar investigations.
The next sexual assault training for the Meridian Township Police Department will be held in June.
The next committee meeting for the Meridian Township Sexual Assault Prevention Program will be June 22nd. At the beginning of the meeting, public will have the opportunity to address the committee.