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Serial Sexual Offender Sentenced on 3rd SAKI Conviction in Calhoun County Following Kalamazoo and Jackson Convictions

LANSING – Today, Brad Risner, 31, last residing in Coldwater and currently incarcerated at the Saginaw Correctional Facility, was sentenced by the Honorable Judge Sarah Lincoln in the 37th Circuit Court in Calhoun County to 15.5 to 30 years incarceration after pleading no contest to two counts of 1st degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) for raping a 15-year-old female friend of the family multiple times in 2007, announced Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. This is the 3rd jurisdiction in which the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) has secured convictions and sentencing against Risner for cold case sexual assaults following convictions in Kalamazoo and Jackson Counties in 2021. Today's sentence will be served concurrent to those he is already serving, the longest of which is 34-70 years. 

Risner was initially charged by the SAKI Team in Kalamazoo County following the testing of a previously untested sexual assault kit from a 2013 assault. During the course of this investigation, nearly a dozen women came forward reporting that they had also been assaulted by Risner between 2005 and 2018. The Kalamazoo investigation resulted in charges, and now convictions, in Kalamazoo, Jackson, and Calhoun counties.  

"The work of our state’s SAKI units is gravely important and the results reflect that,” said Nessel. “Through investigating cold case sexual assaults and testing untested assault kits, the SAKI team was able to identify a serial rapist who had walked free for years, creating more victims in his wake. The SAKI program proves time and again that bringing these dangerous criminals to justice only requires that we insist the work be done, and that talented investigators and prosecutors set out to do it. It is our hope that this conviction may provide hope to others that justice can be found in cold cases, and that there is a victim-centered and trauma-informed pathway available to them if they choose to seek it.” 

Risner has been convicted on all four charges brought against him in all three counties, as follows:

Kalamazoo County: 

  • one count, 3rd degree CSC for a 2013 assault;
  • convicted by plea, August of 2021;
  • sentenced 10-22 years’ incarceration in the 9th Circuit Court by Judge Pamela Lightvoet, September 2021.

Jackson County:

  • one count, 1st degree CSC for a 2010 assault;
  • convicted by jury, October 2021;
  • sentenced 35-70 years’ incarceration in the 4th Circuit Court by Judge Edward Grant, November 2021;
  • resentenced 34-70 years’ incarceration in the 4th Circuit Court by Judge Thomas Wilson, June 2023.

Calhoun County: 

  • two counts, 1st degree CSC for a 2007 assault;
  • convicted by plea, June 29th, 2023;
  • sentenced 15.5-30 years’ incarceration in the 37th Circuit Court by Judge Sarah Lincoln, September 2023. 

The woman who was 15 when Risner raped her multiple times appeared in court today and read aloud a victim impact statement, telling the convicted rapist, “I wore shame and scars. I felt broken and used. But now I am finally telling my truth because of all the pain I wear like a battle wound. I was filled with such doubt, guilt, insecurities, and anxiety. I lost myself. But now, because of you, I grew thick skin and I am stronger than I’ve ever been. I was broken and bruised, then I made my armor out of steel and you can never hurt me.”   

She continued, “Over half my life has been affected by your lack of human decency.  You are egocentric and parasitic to so many women you preyed upon.” 

Judge Lincoln addressed Risner after the Court heard aloud the victim impact statement, saying she hoped Risner had heard what the victim had to say, and telling him, “Part of the reason you are before the Court today, so many years later, is because people didn’t hear her. She is incredibly brave, as are the other victims involved in this case, for coming forward. It is thanks to them that you will not continue to harm women in our communities. The fact of the matter, Mr. Risner, is that you are a serial rapist and you need to be removed from society for the protection of the people who live here.” 

“These convictions serve as a reminder to rapists and molesters that the passage of time does not protect them from justice,” said Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert. “His conduct over the years reflects a serial rapist who has preyed on and injured numerous people and their families. The sentences he has received not only serve as punishment for what he has done, but also protects likely victims in the future.” 

The state’s SAKI project was established in 2016 to investigate and prosecute sexual assaults related to previously untested sexual assault evidence kits. The SAKI project provides sexual assault victims with the opportunity to have their case re-investigated in a comprehensive, trauma-informed manner.


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