Niles man gets prison time for sexually assaulting child

Published 2:54 pm Friday, November 3, 2023

CASSOPOLIS — A Niles man who molested a young girl in 2021 and 2022 was sentenced to prison Friday in Cass County Circuit Court.

        Brandon Lee Kirby, 24, of Impala Drive in Niles, pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to six to 15 years in prison. He has credit for 250 days already served, must pay $962 in fines and costs and must register as a sex offender.

        The incidents occurred in 2021 and 2022 and involved inappropriate conduct and touching against a girl who was seven and eight years old at the time of the incidents.

        “The full amount of damage placed on the child is difficult to comprehend,” Cass County Assistant Prosecutor Jason Ronning said. “I think the sentencing recommendation is appropriate, he did face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison before his plea.”

        “Hopefully he is able to move past this, he is a young man,” Ronning added. “But at the end of the day, punishment is important. He repeatedly raped the child and he deserves as much punishment as is possible within the confines of the law.”

        Defense attorney Samuel Bennett had a different view of the case and asked for a probation sentence. He said his client is remorseful for what happened and has been getting help. He noted that Kirby pled to the charges because he didn’t want to put the victim and her family through a trial.

        “In talking with him, it is clear how disgusted with himself he is,” Bennett said. “He has admitted he needs help and he has gotten counseling … It is not an excuse but it is clear his own sexual abuse as a child played a role in his actions … He has shame and remorse, he knows what he did was awful.”

        “I’m extremely sorry for the acts I committed,” Kirby said. “I do understand how it feels to go through that. My whole mission is to get help so it will never happen again. I want everyone to know how sorry I am.”

        Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman called Kirby’s actions “evil and disgusting.”

“You said you caused a lot of pain and want to take it back but you can’t,” the judge said. “That’s an understatement as well. This young lady will never be the same ever. You set her up possibly for a lifetime of heartache.”

        “Some day this case will be behind you,” he said. “But you have to make sure you understand and remember the consequences of your actions the rest of your life. If you don’t get the help you need and change your life, you will be back before me or another court. There is no excuse for your actions. You can’t wish away your actions.”