Janet Brown re-arrested on criminal sexual conduct charges

MECOSTA COUNTY — Ashmun School teacher Janet Brown was re-arrested on Friday on the same three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct that led to her arrest in November.

DISMISSED: Attorney James Talaske and Janet Brown listen to Osceola County’s 77th District Court Judge Susan Grant as she dismissed Brown’s charges without prejudice in June. Brown was arrested on the same criminal sexual conduct charges on Friday after investigators located the alleged victim. (Pioneer file photo)

The charges against Brown, which were dismissed without prejudice in June, stemmed from an alleged sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student at Ashmun School at Eagle Village in Hersey, an adjudicated youth facility for troubled teens.

Osceola County’s 77th District Court Judge Susan Grant dismissed the charges on June 6 when Michigan State Police troopers were unable to locate the victim listed in the charges against Brown. The boy was transferred from Eagle Village to another youth home facility near Bay City after school administrators discovered “inappropriate communication” between him and Brown via the boy’s cell phone. When Michigan State Police troopers went to pick up the boy to testify, they were told he had been gone from the Bay City facility since May 9.

Dismissal without prejudice allows the case to be reopened in the future if the court finds sufficient evidence to do so. Troopers recently located the boy and, therefore, had grounds to arrest Brown again.

Brown’s attorney, James Talaske, was unhappy with the circumstances surrounding her arrest, which occurred around 3:45 p.m. on Friday from her place of employment in Big Rapids.

“We had made arrangements with the (Osceola County) prosecutor’s office that if the warrant was reauthorized, she would turn herself in,” Talaske’s office said in a statement regarding Brown’s arrest. “This was purposeful. They arrested her just before she left work, after arraignments were done for the day so she would have to sit (in jail) all weekend and be unable to post bail. It’s abusive on the part of the prosecutor’s office and on the part of the police.”

After Brown’s initial arrest on the CSC charges in November, the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District — which runs Ashmun School — placed her on unpaid administrative leave. When the case was dismissed, Brown’s contract dictated she receive paid leave.

The MOISD board of education had planned to hold a hearing Monday to determine Brown’s future employment with the district, before she was arrested while at another place of employment on Friday.

“The board hasn’t made a decision whether to proceed with a hearing on Monday,” said MOISD Superintendent Curt Finch. “We have to talk to our counsel.”

Leave a Reply