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Charges filed in alleged Campus Village assault

A 22-year-old man faces three felonies in connection with an alleged sexual assault in the Campus Village apartments early Saturday, April 6.

Mikkal Steffon Essex is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual assault causing personal injury and one count of assault by strangulation.

First-degree criminal sexual conduct involves penetration and carries a maximum penalty of life in prison with the possibility of parole, while the assault charge carries a 10-year maximum penalty.

The incident occurred about 1 a.m. Saturday in the apartments at Pierce and Davis roads across from SVSU’s campus, authorities said. Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel said an 18-year-old female and a 17-year-old female, one of whom is an SVSU student, reported being sexually assaulted in an apartment in the complex, according to MLive.com.

Federspiel told MLive that police believe four male non-SVSU students were involved, one of whom was Essex, and the females had met one of the males earlier in the night. Police were still investigating those males’ involvement, the sheriff said.

Anyone with information about the case can call Sheriff’s Sgt. Aaron Simons at 989-790-5404.

Essex appeared before Saginaw County District Judge Elian E.H. Fichtner on the afternoon of Thursday, April 11, for arraignment. Fichtner entered a not guilty plea on Essex’s behalf and ordered him jailed without bond ahead of a May 3 preliminary hearing.

In connection with his Monday, April 8, arrest, Essex faces seven counts of resisting and obstructing a police officer, a felony that carries a two-year maximum penalty.

J.J. Boehm, SVSU’s director of media and community relations, said SVSU was aware of the incident.

“We are aware of an alleged sexual assault that occurred off campus at Campus Village apartments over the weekend,” he said. “One of the two alleged victims is an SVSU student. Both alleged victims have been referred for support services offered on and off campus. Since this is an ongoing criminal investigation by the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department, we cannot comment further at this time.”

Boehm said SVSU did not send out a RAVE or mass email notification to students because it did not constitute an emergency situation.

“Based on the information available, we determined that the situation did not pose an imminent threat to the campus community and did not issue an emergency alert,” Boehm said.

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