Serial sexual offender sentenced in Calhoun County

BATTLE CREEK — Serial sexual offender Brad Risner, 31, was sentenced Friday to 15 1/2 to 30 years in prison by 37th Circuit Court Judge Sarah Lincoln after he pleaded no contest to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Risner was accused of raping a 15-year-old female friend of the family multiple times in 2007.

Calhoun County is the third jurisdiction to sentence Risner for cold case sexual assault convictions in Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

In September 2021, a Jackson County jury found Risner guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Risner is serving a minimum of 35 to 70 years in prison for that crime.

Risner is incarcerated at the Saginaw Correctional Facility after a 2021 guilty plea in Kalamazoo County to third-degree CSC. The sentence there is 10 to 15 years in prison.

The SAKI Team in Kalamazoo County initially charged Risner after testing a previously untested sexual assault kit from a 2013 assault.

During this investigation, 10 women came forward, reporting that Risner had also assaulted them between 2005 and 2018.

The earliest case was from Branch County when Risner was 13, living in the northern part of the county, where Risner babysat for female children.

In Calhoun County Circuit Court Friday, the victim, who was 15 when Risner raped her multiple times, read her victim impact statement aloud.

Now 31, she told the court, “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.”

“These convictions serve as a reminder to rapists and molesters that the passage of time does not protect them from justice,” Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert said in a statement.

“The sentences he has received not only serve as punishment for what he has done, but also protects likely victims in the future,” Gilbert continued.

The state’s SAKI project was established in 2016 to investigate and prosecute sexual assaults related to previously untested sexual assault evidence kits.

The judge addressed Risner after the court heard aloud the victim impact statement, saying she hoped Risner had heard what the victim had to say, “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.”

–Contact Don Reid:

This article originally appeared on Coldwater Daily Reporter: Serial sexual offender sentenced in Calhoun County

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