The parents of a Brighton High School student sexually assaulted by an older Brighton high school student — prompting community outrage over the handling of the case — endorsed Dennis Brewer for Livingston County 44th Circuit Court Judge.
The seat is currently held by Livingston County 53rd District Court Judge Carol Sue Reader, who is prohibited from running again due to age restrictions. Following the 2018 election, the judicial seat will move from the 53rd District Court to the 44th Circuit Court.
Jackie and Bryan Zaplitny, whose daughter was one of several sexual assault victims from Brighton High School, endorsed Brewer as the best candidate to bring justice to Livingston County families.
“As business owners and residents in Livingston County, we are sure that Dennis Brewer is the first step in bringing Livingston County back to justice,” Jackie and Bryan Zaplitny said in their endorsement statement. “We endorse Dennis Brewer for Circuit Judge in Livingston County. Dennis is a well-established family man here in Livingston and is here for the long haul. He promises to bring respect and accountability to the bench. Dennis Brewer will hold the prosecutor’s office accountable for their actions and the lack thereof. No more flip-flopping judges, no more picking and choosing based on politics. Fairness, conservativeness and upholding the law as it is written. That’s why Dennis Brewer has our vote.”
“I’m honored and humbled to have the support of Mr. and Mrs. Zaplitny,” Brewer said. “As a father, my heart broke for them and for their daughter because of what they had to endure. I’ve assured them that I will always be on the side of justice and I will always be on the side of families. They know that we need a change in our Livingston County courts, and they know that we need a judge who will put Livingston County families first.”
In response to the case, State Rep. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, earlier this year introduced legislation that would bar juvenile sex offenders from attending the same school district as their victims. The legislation, which requires the permanent expulsion of students who are convicted of criminal sexual conduct against another student enrolled in the same school district, was signed into law in May.
Theis has also endorsed Dennis Brewer for Circuit Court Judge.