Macomb County Prosecutor Outraged after Charges Reduced, Dropped against Ex-Special Ed Teacher accused of Abuse

MOUNT CLEMENS, MI – Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith voiced his outrage concerning the decisions made in the case of former Special Education Teacher, Brittany Stevens.

Prosecutor Smith said “My office argued vehemently against the Judge’s decision to reduce and even drop charges against this defendant. The defendant’s behavior against these children is utterly reprehensible. She was their teacher – the person entrusted with the safety of these vulnerable children.”

Smith also stated “Assistant Prosecutor Molly Zappitell, described for the Judge, multiple alleged assaults by the defendant against five children, including kicking, slapping, spitting at, pushing, and smacking these children. Some of the abuse left marks on the children. Additionally, while she was being physically abusive to these children, she was also being verbally abusive, “berating them, calling them names, swearing at them.”

Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Richard Caretti on Thursday August 15th, 2019, dismissed eight counts of felony child abuse against the former teacher accused of abusing special-education students, reducing four of them to misdemeanor assault charges. Caretti agreed with arguments from Brittany Stevens’ attorneys that her alleged actions did not rise to the level of second degree child abuse. She could have faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Stevens was accused of berating, demeaning and swearing at students from May to December 2017 at Sequoyah Elementary School in Macomb Township.

Instead, a sentence agreement was reached for Stevens.  She is entering into a no-contest plea. No contest means she is conceding the charge without admitting guilt and without presenting a defense. But unlike a plea of guilty or innocent, a defendant must get a court’s consent to plead no contest, which comes with certain legal consequences. She will be sentenced to probation next month. She is scheduled to be sentenced September 17th.

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