Schuette Files Child Abuse Charges Against Washtenaw County Man

Contact: Joy Yearout 517-373-8060

October 23, 2014

LANSING, Mich. - Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that his Criminal Division has filed felony child abuse charges against Jean-Claude Toviave, 45, formally of Ypsilanti.

"All children deserve a safe home environment with loving parents, but unfortunately that is not always the case," said Schuette.  "Michigan kids have an advocate in the Attorney General's office, and we work hard every day to protect our most vulnerable citizens from exploitation and abuse."

Toviave allegedly brought four children from his extended family to live in Michigan after being granted asylum from Togo, Africa.   From November 2008 through January 2011, Schuette alleges Toviave physically abused the children with household items and deprived them of food and sleep when they failed to complete household chores to Toviave's satisfaction.

On October 23, 2014, Schuette filed the following charges against Toviave in Washtenaw 14th District Court:

  • Three counts of Child Abuse in the first degree, a felony punishable by up to life in prison.

Toviave is currently in federal custody awaiting deportation to his home country of Togo. The warrant for his arrest on State charges is expected to halt deportation proceedings. Toviave will be transferred to the Washtenaw County jail in advance of arraignment.  

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty. 

            EDITOR'S NOTE: Attorney General Schuette respectfully asks members of the media to decline from publishing the names of the children involved in this case.  Their privacy must be protected to ensure their well-being, as well as the integrity of the State's case.