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September 7, 2021
LANSING - The Kalamazoo Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) secured prison time against a habitual offender after he was sentenced in one of three cases currently pending as a result of successful evidence testing, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting announced today.
The state's SAKI was established in 2016 to investigate and prosecute sexual assaults related to previously untested sexual assault evidence kits.
Last month, Brad Allen Risner, 29, of Coldwater, pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct as a second habitual offender. He faces additional sexual assault charges in Jackson and Calhoun counties, which are also SAKI prosecutions.
The plea resulted in Kalamazoo SAKI's eleventh conviction in its handling of 11 cases thus far.
Special Assistant Attorney General Erin House read a victim impact statement during Risner's sentencing Tuesday afternoon.
"To the monster who now will live behind bars: I hope you enjoy it. You made my life hell for too long and today I win," the statement said in part.
Kalamazoo County Circuit Court Judge Pamela L. Lightvoet sentenced Risner to between 10 and 22 years in prison, with credit for 252 days. He must also register as a sex offender and was ordered to not have contact with the survivor in the case.
"Today's sentencing serves as a reminder that we remain committed to securing justice for survivors who long thought they would never see their abuser held accountable," Nessel said. "I'm proud of the work done by the Kalamazoo SAKI team to secure this conviction and I will continue to support the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office in this important initiative."
"The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative work that is being done here in Kalamazoo is producing real and meaningful results," Getting said. "This violent sexual predator being sent to prison will protect the citizens of Kalamazoo and other communities for years to come. It is certainly satisfying to me to know that we are making a difference."
Since 2013 the Michigan Legislature has appropriated funds to the Attorney General's office for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting cases that arise from previously untested sexual assault kits. In fiscal year 2021, the legislature again appropriated money to the Attorney General's office to provide funding to SAKI projects in Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Ingham, Jackson, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.
The victim in this case reported the assault in 2013, but the sexual assault forensic evidence kit was not submitted for testing as the case was deemed "he said, she said".
In 2016, as part of the state-wide testing initiative, the kit was tested and identified Risner as the suspect. He was the known suspect from the beginning.
Risner was charged by the Kalamazoo County SAKI in Dec. 2019. Due to COVID-19, the criminal case was delayed until Risner entered his plea last month.
During the course of the Kalamazoo County SAKI investigation, investigators identified ten other women who had been sexually and/or physically assaulted by Risner between 2005 and 2018. Most of these crimes had never been reported to police prior to the Kalamazoo SAKI investigation.
The Jackson and Calhoun county charges resulted from information learned during the Kalamazoo SAKI investigation. Risner is scheduled for trial in Jackson beginning Sept. 28 on one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for a 2010 sexual assault. Risner is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Calhoun County for sexual assaults committed in 2006. That case is not yet set for trial.