BATTLE CREEK, MI (WNWN/WTVB) – A Coldwater man was given a prison sentence of 15 1/2 to 30 years on Friday in Calhoun County Circuit Court after he entered no contest pleas to two counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct.
31-year-old Brad Risner is currently incarcerated at the Saginaw Correctional Facility. The case was prosecuted by the Michigan Attorney General’s office.
Risner was accused of raping a 15-year-old female friend of the family multiple times in 2007. This was the third jurisdiction in which the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative has secured convictions and sentencing against Risner for cold case sexual assaults following convictions in Kalamazoo and Jackson Counties in 2021.
The sentence handed down on Friday will be served concurrently to those he is already serving, the longest of which is 34 to 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.
According to a press release from Attorney General Dana Nessel, the woman who was 15 when Risner raped her multiple times appeared in court 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 Sarah Lincoln told addressed Risner, “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.”
The state’s SAKI project was established in 2016 to investigate and prosecute sexual assaults related to previously untested sexual assault evidence kits.