Buchanan man gets probation for assault

Published 1:50 pm Monday, August 8, 2022

NILES – A Buchanan man was sentenced Monday in Berrien County Trial Court in Niles on criminal sexual conduct charges. 

Brandon Dean Cook, 20, of Buchanan, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit second-degree criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to five years probation and must register as a sex offender for the next 25 years. He was given credit for three days already served, placed on 180 days tether and ordered to pay $658 in fines and costs. 

The incident occurred Oct. 1, 2020 against an underage male in Buchanan. 

While Cook’s attorney, Erika Damstetter, asked for a possible Holmes Youthful Training Act probation which would keep the sentence off his record, Berrien County Trial Judge Sterling Schrock said he didn’t think it was appropriate. “This is clearly not a Romeo and Juliet circumstance which would allow the HYTA status,” he said. “This offense doesn’t fall into the circumstances allowed.” 

Cook apologized to the court and to the victim. “I apologize to the court and the victim for my actions,” he said. “Something like this will never happen again.”