Attorney General Nessel Reviewing Sexual Assault Allegations That Occurred At A Kalamazoo Democratic Fundraiser.
A Police Report from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety shows that there is an ongoing investigation of an alleged sexual assault that occurred at a Democrat Party event at the Park Club of Kalamazoo on April 19, 2022. The individual accused is Jonathan Byrd, President of South Central Michigan AFL-CIO, a well-known and prominent political lobbyist.
The woman who accused Byrd told police that he made several sexual comments towards her, began caressing her legs and her hips. She also alleges that Byrd then grabbed her hand and placed it on his genital area as well as tried to move in to kiss her after she left the building to leave the event, and that this was all unwanted contact and she did not consent at any time.
During the investigation several local Democratic politicians were questioned about the incident, including State Representative Julie Rogers (Kalamazoo) and State Representative Jim Haadsma (Battle Creek). Haadsma attempted to act as a mediator and met with the alleged perpetrator and victim the day after the incident. The police report states that “Haadsma believed this issue to have been resolved until he received a text message from the alleged victim that she was pursuing charges against Byrd.”
According to an article from the Detroit News, Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting, who is also a Democrat, referred the criminal case to the Attorney General’s office. It should be noted that the police report mentioned the alleged assault occurred at a Democratic fundraiser on April 19, 2022, however the criminal complaint and subsequent investigation did not begin until shortly after the November, 2022 election. During a phone call with a Detective from KDPS, State Representative Julie Rogers said “she believed it was a fundraiser for Senator Sean McCann.”
Attorney General Dana Nessel was in Kalamazoo on April 19th and April 20th according to multiple social media posts and news articles. Representative Rogers herself posted a photo on April 19th with Attorney General Dana Nessel that was captioned with “Fired Up for election season at AG Nessel’s fundraiser in Kalamazoo! Vote Blue.”
So, did this alleged sexual assault occur at a fundraiser for Attorney General Dana Nessel and not an event for Senator McCann? Was Attorney General Dana Nessel present at the Park Club in Kalamazoo on the evening of April 19, 2022? Did the Attorney General or anyone on her campaign witness the alleged sexual assault?
KGOP Chairwoman Kelly Sackett was quoted as saying “I hope the AG has someone independent look into this matter, so as to protect the victim’s rights.” Chairwoman Sackett went on to say, “The KGOP supports the victim . This woman was apparently a victim of sexual assault and she needs to be heard, and this should be a fair process for all involved. We don’t want to see another Tara Reade situation, right here in our backyard. The victim’s right to a fair hearing needs to be supported by these elected officials. Not a politically convenient cover up.”
Rachel Warner, who lives in Jim Haadsma’s district and is the current MIGOP Deputy Youth Chair, said “As a woman, I am disgusted by Representative Haadsma’s attempt to silence a woman accuser. Jim will do whatever his Union bosses tell him to do, even if it is to silence an assault victim. This is not the leadership the 44th district deserves.”
Byrd has denied all non-consensual touching and attests that what happened on April 19th was just flirting. He is being represented by Attorney Anastase Markou from Levine & Levine .