Archived Story

Many questions in Cross case

Published 9:56pm Monday, April 4, 2011

Investigators from the Michigan State Police Department have not yet received video evidence in the investigation of Niles Police Officer Ivery Cross, who is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old male inmate at the Niles Law Enforcement Center last month.
Det. Mike Spring of the State Police Paw Paw Post, who is handling the investigation while Det. 1st Lt. Charles Christensen is on vacation, said the state police is still awaiting video from Niles Police Department security cameras from the night of the alleged offense.
“I’ve not seen it yet,” Spring said. “They (Niles police) are in the process of pulling it off the hard drive.”
Spring is also unsure of exactly where the alleged assault took place. At a press conference last week, Christensen said the alleged offense took place in a holding cell. But a press release from the office of Berrien County Prosecutor Art Cotter said it happened in a bathroom at the facility.
Spring said there is video of Cross and the victim together but no footage of any criminal activity.
Niles Police Department Chief Ric Huff declined to comment on the investigation. When asked if it is out of the ordinary for a police officer to be alone with an inmate in the holding facility, he also declined comment.
“Most of our officers conduct investigations by themselves. We don’t have the manpower to send multiple officers to calls all the time,” he said.
Few details have been released about the alleged victim. Spring said he is from the Niles area but would not give a specific location.
The alleged victim was arrested for possession of marijuana by Cross on March 17, but Spring didn’t have any other information on his criminal history. Spring also said the victim didn’t know Cross.
Cross, a 25-year-old with two years of experience on the force, is suspended without pay and is no longer employed as an assistant football coach with Niles High School, a position he has held for several years.
Facing charges of criminal sexual conduct in the 1st degree and 2nd degree, Cross could face life in prison if convicted. The Berrien County Jail in St. Joseph confirmed Friday afternoon that Cross was no longer lodged there, but would not confirm whether he had bonded out or transferred to another facility.
Cross’ supporters vehemently argued his innocence at his arraignment Thursday, accusing the media of having “already lynched” him before a trial. But court documents reveal that Cross allegedly confessed to Spring to “touching the victim in genital areas on one occasion after asking him (the victim) to masturbate in his presence.”
The investigation stems from the alleged victim contacting a law enforcement agency about the alleged offense, Spring said. That agency contacted the Niles Police Department, and that’s when the state police began the investigation.
Cross appears in court Thursday for a status conference followed by a preliminary hearing set for April 12.

  • dillcassidy

    I am commenting on these “alleged” allegations against Ivory Cross neither in his defense or wheather these events turn out to be true. I was a few grades ahead of Mr. Cross at Niles High School and while we werent close. We did spend time together through sports and other related activities. I have not lived in the Niles community for ten years, but follow the daily star almost daily to keep up with my hometown. I received numerous phonecalls from family and friends telling me about the accusations. that there was video tape evidence and much more. i have since followed the story closely and while i do believe there were some procedures that were not followed. All the evidence has yet to be brought to light. As a community as a citizen of our country you are innocent until provrn guilty. Unfournately in todays world of news and social media any person (especially) ones in pulic spot light are put to trail before all facts are laid out. Ladies and gentlemen both supporters and those who already believe in his guilt. You are as is everyone entitled to there own opinion. This is a young man whos life has already changed before he has even faced a jury of his peers or before all facts have been brought out. Justice is supposed to be blind and in this case and many others the scale of justice can weigh heavily against you before you even have a chance to defend yourself.

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