Man enters pleas to accosting girls in Grand Rapids school

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A man who walked unchallenged into a Grand Rapids charter school last February and lured two girls into a private room to accost them pleaded no contest Monday, Nov. 7 to several offenses that could put him in prison for decades.

Jalen Davonte Harris faced 10 charges ranging from kidnapping-child enticement to first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The 23-year-old Grand Rapids man entered pleas in three criminal cases the same day his trial was to begin in Kent County Circuit Court.

He pleaded no contest to kidnapping-child enticement, two counts of accosting children for immoral purposes and one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

In exchange for his pleas, six other counts will be dismissed. Under a plea agreement, Harris faces a minimum of 18 years in prison when he returns for sentencing in early December.

Most of the charges stem from a Feb. 2 incident at River City Scholars Charter Academy while he was still on probation for attacking his girlfriend with a knife.

Police say Harris entered the school at 944 Evergreen St. SE about 8 a.m. without checking into the office.

He told one girl he was there at her mother’s request “to check her pants size,’’ court records show. Harris took the girl into a private room and pulled her pants down. The girl fled.

Harris then made contact with the second victim and provided the same story regarding her mother “and wanting to be there to check her pants size,’’ court records show. The second girl also fled.

Both girls notified school officials. Harris turned himself in to Grand Rapids police after video showing him on school grounds was released to the media.

He was also charged with sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl in an unrelated incident. The assault took place at a home in the same block of Lafayette Avenue SE where Harris was living at the time, according to court documents.

The girl and her family contacted Grand Rapids Police after seeing news reports of his arrest for the incidents at the charter school.

Harris at the time was on probation for felonious assault and domestic violence.

He assaulted his former girlfriend with a knife on Christmas Eve 2013 at the victim’s home on the city’s Northeast Side.

Harris was sentenced in March 2014 to nine months in jail and placed on probation for four years.

His prior convictions include weapon and drug offenses.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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