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GH man gets prison time for sexually assaulting teen

Becky Vargo • Mar 20, 2019 at 9:00 AM

A Grand Haven man has been sent to prison for a minimum year and a half for a sexual assault on a relative when the girl was 15.

Rylee Jordan Brown, 21, was given credit for one day served in jail when he was sentenced Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court. He must register as a sex offender once he is released from jail.

Although told at his previous plea hearing that he might qualify for the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) diversion program, Judge Jon Hulsing on Monday denied Brown that possibility. The diversion program allows a conviction to be removed from someone’s record if that person successfully completes jail time and/or probation.

Hulsing said that, since the plea, he’s received more information about the incident and the program “is not appropriate.”

“I do find that this is not a consensual situation,” the judge said.

Brown was accused of assaulting the teen when she was asleep in the basement of the home that he shared with his wife. The girl reported the incident to her school counselor the next day.

“I have not been able to get a solid night’s sleep since,” the girl told the judge as she gave her victim impact statement Monday.

The tearful teen said she was afraid that she would wake up to him taking advantage of her again. She told the judge that she fell behind in school, lost relationships with family and friends, and has continued anxiety. 

“If Rylee gets HYTA, I fear that it will show society that sexual assault is OK,” the girl said.

The girl’s mother told the judge that Brown had destroyed their lives. The girl’s father said because of his daughter’s distrust of men, they no longer have the “treasured” father/daughter relationship they once had.

Brown apologized to the victim and her family, as well as to his wife. 

Hulsing said he went above the guidelines of a year in the sentence.

“The impact upon the families is really egregious,” he said. 

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