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Dowagiac man sentenced to prison for fathering child with 14-year-old

Published 8:32am Monday, October 19, 2009

By NORMA LERNER
Dowagiac Daily News

CASSOPOLIS – A DNA test proved a young Dowagiac man was the father of a baby by a 14-year-old girl and will spend the next three to 10 years in prison for fourth-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 he thought was 18 because she bought cigarettes.

But this wasn’t the case, Judge Michael Dodge said in Circuit Court Friday morning.
Dodge said the girl was 14 at the time, gave birth to a baby boy and went on public assistance.

She identified Bradford as the possible father of the baby.

A DNA test was required since she applied for public aid.

Dodge said, “You know you are the father of this child,” adding that the victim was sexually active with other young men.

Dodge said the fact she had sex with other men doesn’t excuse Bradford’s behavior.
“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 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 happened while Bradford was on parole, Dodge noted.

Prosecutor Victor Fitz said Bradford has seven misdemeanors. He said it’s a throw-away society. Marriage is not a factor, fatherhood is not a factor. Forty to 50 years ago a man was expected to be respectful, particularly to women.

Last year 40 percent of children were born out of wedlock.

Sex for Bradford is a commodity.

It doesn’t matter how old they are. Sex is sex. He is an adult and needs to be responsible.
He claims he thought she was 18 just because she bought cigarettes. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Sex with an adolescent is wrong.

Defense attorney James Jessie said his client was wrong.

The girl was sexually active with lots of people. He said Bradford is remorseful over this situation.

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

In other sentencings Oct. 16:
• Ricky Cress, 37, of 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, of 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, of 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, of 609 E. Prairie Ronde 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 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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