GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A major development unfolded in court Friday in the sexual assault case against 17-year-old Grand Rapids Catholic Central student Cameron Cross.
Charges in one case against Cross were reduced and the other case was dismissed altogether.
The two teenage girls who testified against Cross, saying he sexually assaulted them at the high school, were in tears after learning of the dismissal.
Cross and his family, on the other hand, shared smiles and hugs.
“All in all, we’re pleased with the results today,” Cross’ defense attorney Mark Hunting said.
The second girl to testify against Cross said he assaulted her in a boys bathroom in March. But Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker decided to dismiss the charges after reviewing school surveillance video.
“Based on what we saw in that video, what the victim testified to at this point, (it) did not match what was on that video,” Becker said.
The first case against Cross — in which a girl said he groped her in a school elevator and in a stairwell earlier this year — will move forward. But the charges have been reduced to three counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a high-court misdemeanor, after it was determined the testimony didn’t fit the more serious charge.
Cross had been facing a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted. Now, the maximum sentence has been reduced to two years based on the modified charges.
Hunting claims school surveillance video will also help his arguments in the remaining case against his client. Two weeks ago, video played in court showed the alleged victim laughing just moments after she said the assault happened. Hunting said it was contradictory to the actions of somebody who’d just been sexually assaulted.
“Our assertion is that it didn’t happen,” Hunting said. “And we intend to prove it if we need to.”
No date has been scheduled for the remaining case against Cross, but the judge did bind it over to circuit court.
It’s expected to go to trial unless a plea deal is reached before that happens.