Teen Sentenced In Rape Of GVSU Student
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A 14-year-old will likely spend the next five years in juvenile lock-up for his role in a sex assault in Grand Rapids in September.
The teenager learned his punishment in Kent County Court Tuesday.
The victim was walking home from a bus stop near John Ball Park Zoo when the teenager and his co-defendant, Felipe Lopez-Velasquez, 16, were passing by on foot and on a bike.
Police said Velasquez tried to rob the woman and assaulted her.
Then, investigators say Velasquez and the 14-year-old raped her near her home.
The younger teen, who was charged as a juvenile, admitted to the crime and issued an apology to the family.
The victim’s brother spoke in court, asking for the strongest possible sentence for both men.
He explained how the assault affected him and his sister.
“You can imagine the horror,” the girl’s brother said. “You go there and see your sister with her face swollen up, twice the normal size, two black eyes, bloody lip and then find out she was raped as well.”
He also talked to the judge about how the sentence will reflect on the way society values women.
“One of the lessons I’ve told the kids, ‘What makes America the greatest country in the world is, look at how we treat our women compared to other countries,'” said the victim’s brother. “But the minute one of these two walk free, I need to go find every one of those kids and tell them I lied.”
The 14-year-old is sentenced to a juvenile detention center facility until the age of 19, but can get out earlier based on a number of factors.
If the teen does get out, he must keep a clean record.
If he commits a felony, he will receive a minimum of 11 years in prison to a maximum of life.
His alleged accomplice, Valesquez, is still facing charges as an adult.