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‘It’s no fun,’ former prosecutor says before getting jail and probation for reckless driving

Former Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Kuiper was sentenced to two days in jail and placed on probation for 13 months following an October conviction for reckless driving.

A former Kent County assistant prosecutor sentenced Wednesday to jail and probation for a wrong-way crash more than two years ago, said he is the victim of a double-standard.

“I understand why there was a double-standard applied to me in this case,’’ Joshua Kuiper said Wednesday in Kent County Circuit Court. “It’s no fun when you’re on the other end. I don’t think it’s necessarily fair.’’

A Kent County jury found him guilty of reckless driving for a crash in November of 2016 that injured a Grand Rapids man retrieving a coat from his parked car. 

Kuiper, then an assistant prosecutor for Kent County, was returning home from a retirement party for his outgoing boss. Kuiper resigned shortly after the crash.

Although he had been drinking, Kuiper was not given a blood alcohol test. He was written a ticket and given a ride home by Grand Rapids police.

An ensuing investigation led to disciplinary action against three Grand Rapids police officers for their handling of the case. A special prosecutor charged Kuiper with reckless driving causing serious impairment of a body function, a five-year felony.

Jurors in late October convicted him on a misdemeanor count of reckless driving, which is punishable by up to 93 days in jail.

Defense attorney Craig Haehnel said a pre-sentence investigation recommended fines and court costs with no jail or probation.

“It’s been a very costly lesson that Mr. Kuiper has learned,’’ Haehnel said. 

Kent County Circuit Court Judge J. Joseph Rossi told Kuiper to report to the Kent County Jail on Friday, Dec. 21 by 5 p.m. Kuiper will be eligible for release after 7 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22.

Kuiper was also placed on probation for 13 months and has to complete 40 hours of community service. He was assessed more than $500 in fines and court costs.

“There is no do-over, no opportunity to rewind the tape and change the way things played out,’’ Rossi said before sentencing. “And you stand in here for sentencing in a courtroom that you have appeared in professionally many times in the past.’’

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