Man accused of school assault faces new sex charge


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man charged with sexually assaulting two elementary school students in Grand Rapids is facing a new criminal sex charge.

“We have an individual who is accused of doing some what I would call heinous things with children,” Grand Rapids Police Department Sgt. Terry Dixon said.

Thursday, 22-year-old Jalen Harris was arraigned in 61st District Court in Grand Rapids on a new charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was denied bond. If convicted, he could face 25 years to life in prison.

The new charge stems from an incident that allegedly took place in Grand Rapids between June 1 and June 30, 2015. Police told 24 Hour News 8 that the victim is under 10.

Court documents show that the sexual assault occurred down the street from where Harris lived. However, police told 24 Hour News 8 the incident occurred at a different location.

Police say the victim and her family contacted the Grand Rapids Police Department after seeing news reports about the incident at River City Scholars Academy.

“Once the news reports were circulating. the parent of the victim then contacted the Grand Rapids Police Department,” Sgt. Dixon said.

Harris has already been charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping. Police say Harris walked into River City Scholars Charter Academy in Grand Rapids on Feb 2. He allegedly told two girls that he was sent by their mothers to get their pant sizes.

Police say the first girl went with him into a private room and Harris removed her pants and touched her thigh before she left the room and told an adult. He then did the same thing with another girl but didn’t get her pants off before she got away and told a school official.

Harris told 24 Hour News 8 during a jailhouse interview he was innocent of the charges. He claims he was supposed to be delivering a message to his school-aged cousin at nearby Dickinson Elementary School, but went to River City Scholars by mistake.

“There could be other victims out there, so if there is anyone else that has information regarding this CSC or his actions, criminal behavior, we ask they call GRPD,” Dixon said.

The investigation regarding Harris is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call GRPD at 616.456.3400.

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