Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Brian Alexander

Other Michigan Exonerations with Perjury or False Accusation
https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/PublishingImages/Ingham_County_Michigan.png
On January 14, 2015, 32-year-old Brian Alexander, a Michigan State Police trooper, was arrested on charges of sexually molesting his stepdaughter two years earlier in their home in Holt, Michigan.

A week earlier, the girl’s younger sister told a teacher that her sister, M.B., told her that Alexander sexually molested her in 2013 when she was 14 years old. Police were notified, and M.B. said that while she could not recall exact dates, Alexander had groped her and had rubbed his penis against her groin while they were clothed. She said that on one occasion when she was home sick from school, she was in the master bedroom watching television when he came in and pulled her on top of him.

Alexander went to trial in Ingham County Circuit Court in September 2015. He was charged with four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim at least 13 but less than 16 years of age. The charges said the acts occurred between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013.

M.B. testified that on three occasions Alexander came into her bedroom, pulled her on top of him, and rubbed his penis against her groin while both were clothed. She also testified that on one occasion, Alexander slid his hand into her pants to touch her buttocks.

M.B. also testified that one day during the spring of 2013, she stayed home from school because she was sick. She said that she was in the master bedroom watching television when Alexander came in and pulled her on top of him. She said that she began to cry and ran into her own bedroom. After that incident, M.B. told the jury, Alexander never made any further advances.

During cross-examination, Alexander’s attorney, Bill McCririe, confronted M.B. with school attendance records that showed that she had never missed a day of school for illness or any other reason. M.B. insisted the incident occurred but that it was after school. She asserted that she had been feeling sick and texted her mother for permission to go home, but that her mother told her to stay at school.

Alexander, who had been hired as a state trooper in 2014, testified that the incidents never occurred. M.B.’s mother testified for the defense that she believed M.B. wasn't a truthful person. By the time of trial, M.B. was living with her father. M.B.’s mother also denied getting a text message from M.B. asking to go home from school because she was feeling sick.

On September 3, 2015, the jury convicted Alexander of all four counts. Prior to sentencing, McCririe and co-counsel Scott Grabel, filed a motion for a new trial based on an examination of records of text messages and phone calls between M.B. and her mother. The records showed that no text messages were sent between them during school hours from January 1 to June 30, 2013.

In November 2015, Ingham County Circuit Judge William Collette granted the motion and vacated Alexander’s convictions. Judge Collette noted that the trial boiled down to a credibility contest between M.B. and Alexander. He said that the newly discovered cellular phone records “could have—and I am not saying it necessarily would—but I think it may well have created a situation where the jury would have a lot more trouble with” M.B.’s testimony. Judge Collette ruled that the records “should have been presented to the jury and that it could have made a difference.”

The prosecution appealed the ruling, and in October 2016, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed Judge Collette’s decision. The court ruled that because M.B.’s mother and Alexander had testified that M.B. had lied, “the telephone records do not expose an egregious untruth that would undermine the victim’s credibility that it would make a different result probable on retrial.”

Alexander’s attorneys then filed a petition with the Michigan Supreme Court seeking permission to appeal. On June 21, 2017, the Michigan Supreme Court, in a one-paragraph ruling, vacated the appellate court decision. The Supreme Court ruled that the appellate court had erred when it determined that the cellular telephone records did not justify a new trial.

“The evidence—the discovery of the complainant’s cell phone records—was newly discovered, was not cumulative, and could not have been discovered with reasonable diligence and produced at trial,” the Supreme Court ruled.

On September 25, 2017, the prosecution dismissed the charges.

– Maurice Possley

Report an error or add more information about this case.

Posting Date: 10/25/2017
State:Michigan
County:Ingham
Most Serious Crime:Child Sex Abuse
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2013
Convicted:2015
Exonerated:2017
Sentence:Not sentenced
Race:Caucasian
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:31
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No