in wake of terpening arrest state senator takes action to close loopholes

May 17, 2012

Senator Rick Jones spoke out on the Michael Terpening Case back in September following the arrest of Michael Terpening in charges of abusing young men in his care at Earth Services in Barry County.

 From Senator Jones website:

State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, was shocked to learn that a Barry County youth home administrator licensed to care for 15 children has been charged with 11 sex charges. Numerous cases cannot be brought against the individual because of questionable consent.

�I am shocked that this evil sex abuser cannot be held accountable because his victims who are 16 and 17 years old can give questionable consent under current Michigan law,� Jones said. �These are abused and neglected children who were entrusted to his care. I�m angry that the taxpayers of Michigan are paying this creep to have sex with children.�

Jones is working with Barry County Prosecutor Tom Evans and the Michigan Department of Human Services to immediately draft legislation to change state law to protect foster children and children in youth homes.

Traditionally under Michigan law when someone has authority and power over a person, that person cannot give consent. Examples would be teachers and 16- and 17-year-old students, or jail correction officers and inmates. Under the law, inmates cannot give consent.

�In line with state law, children in foster and youth homes should not be able to give consent to individuals with authority over them,� Jones said.

In related news, Jones received a report from police officers that foster parents are growing and smoking medical marijuana around foster children. Jones met with DHS officials Friday to put an end to the problem. DHS officials informed Jones that they are currently working on rules to prevent this behavior.

�When taxpayers are paying someone to protect and safeguard children they do not expect the caregivers to grow and smoke marijuana around them,� Jones said. �I will draft legislation to stop this abuse in case DHS does not pass new rules soon.�

Final thought