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Dowagiac man gets prison term

Published 9:47am Monday, October 19, 2009

By NORMA LERNER
Niles Daily Star

CASSOPOLIS – A DNA test proved a young Dowagiac man was the father of a baby by a 14-year-old girl, who will now spend the next three to 10 years in prison for 4th-degree criminal sexual conduct.

It was in 2008 when Paris Bradford, 23, of 550 Riverside Drive had sexual intercourse with the 14-year-old girl, whom he thought was 18 because she bought cigarettes. But this wasn’t the case, said Judge Michael Dodge in Circuit Court Friday morning.

The girl was 14 at the time and gave birth to a baby boy and went on public assistance, Dodge said. She identified Bradford as the possible father of the baby. A DNA test was required since she applied for the public aid.

“You know you are the father of this child,” Dodge told Bradford, who added that the victim was sexually active with other young men.

The fact that she had sex with other men doesn’t excuse your behavior,” Dodge said. “You are the guy we are dealing with today, not them,” Dodge said.

“If she wasn’t on public assistance, we might not have known that. The public is supporting her and your child.”

Dodge said Bradford has had a couple felonies as a juvenile but was now in adult court for many offenses. “It’s time to go to prison,” he said. This incident happened while Bradford was on parole, Dodge noted.

Prosecutor Victor Fitz said Bradford has seven misdemeanors. Last year 40 percent of children were born out of wedlock. Sex with an adolescent is wrong, he added.

Defense attorney James Jessie admitted his client was wrong and that Bradford was remorseful over this situation.

Bradford did not speak to the court. His fines and costs were $578.

Other sentencings Friday are as follows:

• Ricky Cress, 37, 1509 Thomson Road, Niles, received one year probation for attempted larceny in a building and driving while license suspended. On Aug. 18 he went into Hoyt’s junk yard on Terminal Road and stole scrap metal without permission. He is to pay $1,201 in costs.

• Steven Alexander, 18, 3261 Tiara Trails, Niles, received 210 days jail for attempted assault with a dangerous weapon, a knife, on Aug. 9 when he got into an argument with a male and stabbed him.

He is to pay $128 in fines and restitution of $6,649.74 for medical bills.

• Cameron Pearison, 20, 2395 Worrell St., Niles, received two years probation plus 60 days jail for delivery of marijuana to a confidential police informant.
He is to pay $1,223 in fines and costs.

• Stephanie Klobucar, 31, 609 E. Prairie Rhonde St., Dowagiac, got 18 months probation plus 90 days jail less 108 served and will be released for uttering and publishing. She stole checks from her aunt in December, 2008, and cashed them at the Family Fare in Dowagiac to obtain money for drugs.
She is to pay $1,288 in fines and costs and restitution of $129.57.

• Jason Meadows, 28, of Lake Park, Ga., got two years probation plus 30 days jail for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on Aug. 4 in Union. His blood alcohol level was 0.11 percent. He is to pay fines and costs of $2,058.

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