Release of teen convicted of rapes delayed as prosecutor asks for more testing

HOWELL, Mich. (WXYZ) - A teen found guilty of sexually assaulting 12 and 13-year-old girls appeared in court Tuesday as the court decided whether he would be released from jail. 

When family of the victims heard details about the psychological evaluations he was given, they were outraged. 

During the hearing the prosecutor said she looked over the evaluations done as she worked to develop a safety plan for his release. The evaluations looked at the defendant's IQ, screened for learning disabilities, and tested his ability to perform daily life skills such as dressing and feeding himself.

The prosecutor said the problem is what they did not reveal.  

The prosecutor said she did not see any report that looked at underlying psychiatric disorders that may have lead to the crimes.  

She asked that he not be released until more testing was done. The court agreed. 

The crimes date back to 2016. The teen was 14-years-old when he raped two twelve-year-olds and one thirteen-year-old girl. He was charged with 31 felonies. 

The girls’ families were shocked in October when he was sentenced to a minimum 45 days in juvenile detention.

“I would prefer he do an inpatient residential treatment but that is not going to happen. The court is going to do what the court is going to do,” said Jackie Zaplitni, the mom of a victim. 

She and other relatives there on behalf of victims said they did not understand why it isn’t standard procedure that more in-depth psychological tests be done. 

“Once again we have been let down. I am getting used to that feeling,” said Hether Green, a victim’s aunt. 

“If we are going to look at this case as a rehabilitation for the offender, then that should be addressed,” said Zaplitni. 

It is unclear when evaluations will be done and the teen's release plan addressed in court again. 

Another hearing to address restitution for the victims is scheduled for January 30th.  

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