Teen sentenced for third degree CSC case

Becky Vargo • Feb 20, 2017 at 6:34 PM

An 18-year-old Zeeland man convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct will still be allowed to attend school choir events and graduate with his class at Holland Christian High School despite a request from his victim that he not be allowed on the school campus until she had graduated.

Bryce Joel Deroo was also approved for the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which removes the felony from his record if he successfully completes three years of probation.

Deroo was sentenced Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court.

Judge Jon Hulsing told Deroo that sentencing was appropriate for the case. It will allow Deroo to move forward, recognizing the consequences of his actions, yet still protect the victim.

Hulsing said Deroo may have no direct contact with his victim, while noting that incidental contact may not be avoidable.

The victim’s parents read a statement from their daughter, who said she is too afraid to be in the same room as Deroo.

The victim said Deroo intimidated her to the point that she believed him when he said nobody liked her but him, and she couldn’t trust anyone but him. She said he was so convincing that she drifted away from her friends and family.

“He treated me like a worthless object,” the victim said in her statement. “He made me hate myself. Now all I see is the bad in people and I never want to trust again.”

The victim noted that she had missed a lot of school and her grades had dropped since her relationship with Deroo. She is undergoing counseling for trust and self-esteem issues, as well as anxiety and depression.

Hulsing told Deroo that he would be responsible for the victim’s medical bills. Deroo must also complete 60 hours of community service.

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