Prosecutor looking at party, sex assault information
Evidence from an October 28 house party hosted by two Cranbrook Kingswood High School students in Oakland Township where two girls alleged they were sexually assaulted by a fellow Cranbrook student, a senior, has been presented to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s office by the Oakland County Sheriff for possible criminal charges.
The Oakland County Prosecutor’s office said it will now decide whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed with criminal charges or whether additional investigation must take place.
Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe said the victims, ages 16 and 17, both Cranbrook students, spoke with investigators in the two days following an alleged house party where it is believed about 100 youth gathered. The victims told investigators they were sexually assaulted at the home while attending the party.
The father of one of the two girls who hosted the party is the owner of the home and was home at the time of the party, according to several sources.
“We’ve had a couple of people come forward, kids who attended the party,” with information, McCabe said, but “the sheriff’s office is disappointed more haven’t come forward.” They are still seeking more information from people who were at the party, as well as anyone who may have witnessed the alleged sexual assault.
Aside from the two sexual assault investigations, detectives have been interested in learning more about who hosted the party, whether they supplied alcohol to minors and additional details. McCabe said, “We know for a fact that an adult was there. If there was involvement and facilitation, there will be criminal charges.” Information could help in furthering leads in the sexual assault cases, as well as potential enforcement of local and state ordinances regarding alcohol-related laws, such as hosting and furnishing alcohol to minors or contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Cranbrook is said to have done their own internal investigation of the party, but has been tight-lipped in relaying what, if any, repercussions there will be for students who may have been at the party, consumed alcohol, hosted, or possibly were involved in a sexual assault.
Clay Matthews, spokesperson for the Bloomfield Hills private school, said in a prepared statement, “The safety of our students is Cranbrook’s highest priority. While we do not, as a matter of policy, provide details on specific student matters, we can say that we have completed our investigation and will continue to take appropriate action.”
In addition, Cranbrook Schools has a Parent Code of Conduct which holds students responsible for inappropriate actions by a parent, such as hosting a house party with alcohol, which parents must sign at the beginning of each school year, and if it is violated a student can be suspended or expelled.
Matthews refused to comment regarding an out-of-state student who was a boarder at the school and was expelled after returning to the dorm from the party and had been drinking.
As for the father who may have been at the home, Michigan is one of 38 states with a dram shop rule, a statute which “makes a business which sells alcoholic drinks or a host who serves liquor to a drinker who is obviously intoxicated, or close to it, strictly liable to anyone injured by the drunken patron or guest.” However, often the dram shop rule is used in civil litigation.
Investigators ask anyone who may have attended the party or has information about the alleged assaults to contact the Oakland County Sheriff's Office Oakland Township Substation at 248.652.4671. They may also leave a tip with Crime Stoppers of Michigan at 800.SPEAK.UP.
RELATED: Why Cranbrook students and/or parents need to come forward and assist law enforcement with investigation. Click here.