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November 24, 2021
LANSING - A Kalamazoo man convicted of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) will spend more than two decades in prison, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting announced today. The Kalamazoo Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) handled the case.
The state's SAKI was established in 2016 to investigate and prosecute sexual assaults related to previously untested sexual assault evidence kits.
Last month, a jury convicted Jamaal Vincent, 38, following a trial that lasted nearly two weeks.
In addition to the two counts of first-degree CSC, Vincent was convicted as a fourth habitual offender.
This afternoon Kalamazoo County Circuit Court Judge Pamela Lightvoet sentenced Vincent to 25 to 50 years in prison on the first count and and 20 to 40 years on the second count. The sentences will run concurrently.
The survivor in this case submitted a victim impact statement that reads in part, "Justice has now really been served. I can now go and get gas and I won't see you at the pump as I pull up to the gas station. I won't have to see you at all. You deserve all of what comes to you and more. Now, every day while sitting in that small cell behind bars, you will realize all the hurt you did to me and the other two women. Maybe even more. It feels like so much weight being lifted off my shoulders now."
"I continue to be proud of the work being done in Kalamazoo and around the state to secure justice for survivors who long thought they would never see their abuser held accountable," Nessel said. "We know there's a pattern in these cases: people who commit sexual offenses will continue to offend until they are stopped and held accountable by the court system. Our SAKI teams are doing just that."
"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."
The case stems from an Oct. 2009 assault. The victim, who was 18 at the time, immediately reported to the police and underwent a sexual assault medical forensic exam. Her sexual assault kit was not submitted for testing until the 2016 statewide testing initiative. DNA testing identified Vincent and corroborated her 2009 report.
Vincent is currently awaiting trial for two other CSC cases that occurred within 14 months of the Oct. 2009 assault. A status conference is set for Dec. 15 at 9 a.m. in those cases.
The other assaults were also previously reported to law enforcement but were not pursued until the Kalamazoo SAKI began reinvestigating the 2009 assault, which started in 2019 and led to charges against Vincent in August 2019.
The two survivors in those cases also testified during the trial last month. Their testimony likely helped obtain the conviction. They also submitted victim impact statements for Wednesday's sentencing.
One statement reads in part, "I hope you understand the value of time, I hope you understand the mental trauma that we all are dealing with, and I hope you understand that this man is in fact a terrorist and the only hope that I have left, lays in your hands. The justice system failed us ten years ago, although your sentencing will never give me time back, hopefully it will help me mentally knowing he is gone for good."
The other states in part, "I'm 100% sure my life would have turned out a little bit different, if Jamaal hadn't done what he did to me. Jamaal is a sick individual."