Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Officer Ronell Weatherspoon - Sentenced - Buena Vista PD


Former Police Officer gets jail time
The Bay City Times
August 02, 2007

BUENA VISTA, MICHIGAN – A former Buena Vista Township police officer will spend at least a year in jail after pleading guilty to sexual assault charges involving a 15-year-old girl.

Ronell Weatherspoon 40, was sentenced by Bay County Circuit Judge William J. Caprathe on Monday to 19 months to 10 years for assault with attempt to commit sexual penetration and 13 to 24 months for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Weatherspoon pleaded no contest to those charges in exchange for dismissal of a third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge and a charge of furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Weatherspoon, of Saginaw, was charged after the father of a 15-year-old Saginaw girl called police in May 2006 after learning that his daughter had sex with Weatherspoon while she and a friend babysat in a Williams Township trailer park for a friend’s children.

The girl said she’d met Weatherspoon through the 26-year-old woman whose children she babysat. That woman said she’d warned Weatherspoon to ‘’stay away” from the girl because she was only 15.

The girl said Weatherspoon showed up at the trailer with an 18-pack of beer on April 8, 2006, then later ran out and bought a fifth of vodka. The girl said she and her friend were performing ”lap dances” for each other and for Weatherspoon, and she was intoxicated and agreed to have sex with him.

Defense Attorney James Piazza argued prior to sentencing that ”this is a case where alcohol has clouded everyone’s judgment.”

He asked the judge to order no jail time. ”It may not be advisable to place him in a prison setting,” Piazza told the judge. "Further, it may not even be advisable to put him in a jail setting.”

Weatherspoon is no longer employed by Buena Vista, having resigned ”following the outcome of an internal investigation on an unrelated matter,” according to a statement made by a detective from that department.

The case was investigated by Bay County Sheriff’s Office detectives John Ruterbusch and Christopher Mausolf.

Caprathe also ordered Weatherspoon to undergo alcohol counseling.

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