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Posted on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 5:28 p.m.

Teenager convicted of groping patient at U-M Hospital may only serve days in jail

By Kyle Feldscher

The teenager charged with groping a woman while she was in a hospital bed with broken bones in August at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children's Hospital may only serve several days in jail.


Soumo Kennedy

Soumo Kennedy, who was 17 when he was charged in September, was sentenced to six months in the Washtenaw County Jail by Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Melinda Morris on Monday.

However, for the first two months of that sentence, Kennedy will be jailed on the weekends, entering at 6 p.m. on Friday and leaving at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Morris said if Kennedy holds a job working at least 30 hours per week or becomes a full-time student, he would not have to serve the remainder of the sentence.

Morris also sentenced Kennedy to five years of probation. He will have to register as a sex offender, have no contact with any individual under the age of 17 unless approved by his probation officer, will not be allowed to possess a computer for any reason other than school and complete sexual offender treatment.

“(Your) chances of rehabilitation are high,” Morris said to Kennedy.

Kennedy pleaded guilty in October to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The charge stems from Kennedy’s admission that he touched the buttocks of a female patient without permission on the night of Aug. 20 at Mott Children’s Hospital.

Kennedy was originally charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct and assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, along with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Prosecutors dropped the assault with intent to commit sexual penetration charge as a part of a plea deal. The second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge was mistakenly added onto the case and was dismissed.

The mother of the victim, who will not be identified by in order to protect the victim, spoke in court directly to Kennedy, telling him that he changed a young girl’s life. She said her daughter is now in counseling to help her get over the incident, which occurred when she was being treated at the hospital for broken bones.

The victim’s mother said Kennedy watched her help her daughter into a wheelchair simply to get to the bathroom. She said hospital staff allowed Kennedy to stay overnight at the hospital, after visiting hours, and he took advantage of her daughter.

“It’s a human being we’re talking about here,” she said. “I don’t want these things to go unnoticed, especially in a hospital.”

Kennedy previously ran away from a foster home that he was assigned to as a part of probation for a juvenile conviction. He had no previous convictions as an adult and this is the first felony on his criminal record, according to his lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Stephen Adams.

Kennedy apologized to the victim’s mother for the incident and said he wished he could apologize directly to the victim.

“I’m sorry for hurting her daughter. It’s eating me up on the inside and it’s messed up my life,” he said.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 8:44 p.m.

responding to RJA, Kennedy at his preliminary hearing confessed to the judge that he touched the victim, did not have consent, and did not even know her. What type of person goes and sexually assaults a person whom is in a hospital bed, with "multitraumatic injuries?" And the judge gives him weekend jail????? Maybe he could do community service at Judge Morris's house?? Morris should be fine with letting Kennedy in her home, giving him a second chance, hhhmmmm


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

Sex offenders do not have a high chance of rehabilitation, Melinda. You don't have to watch CSI to know that.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 12:39 a.m.

Juvenile conviction? Ran away from foster home? Now 17 and committing a sexual assault? Clearly this individual does not learn from negative consequences. I give him 2 months before he reoffends or goes on the lam. Maybe Judge Morris can take him in.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

Would this have happened if the hospital had the sense to say, "No, a male can not stay overnight in the same room as a female patient" ? Has the hospital accepted any responsibility in this? Will the management be changing its policies? Has the family considered pressing charges against the hospital?


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 3:15 a.m.

Melinda Morris has infuriated me for years, and apparently will continue to do so until she no longer serves on the bench (which will likely be at a time of her own choosing). Years ago, somebody assaulted a member of our family. When the prosecutor informed us that Melinda Morris would be presiding the case, I threw my arms up and said "Well, so much for that," knowing what the outcome would be (Morris even offered the punk a chance to participate in a program so the charge would not even go on his record!!!). If Morris wants to continue to believe that everybody is good at heart and can be rehabilitated after a slap on the wrist, fine, go ahead and believe it...but don't continue to make law-abiding citizens end up being victims when these criminals commit a more serious crime after your irresponsible decisions. It is way past time to remove her from the bench.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

Melinda Morris needs to run for re-election in November '12 because her current term expires in January '13. If she's that bad, someone from the legal community should step forward and run for her seat next fall.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 2:37 a.m.

I'm not signing in to kick at Morris, I am wondering about a couple things. Did the victim know Kennedy prior to the hospital visit? Many hospitals allow family or friend to spend the night with a patient. I also feel for the patient, whether she knew him or not. I hope she heals well with therapy. As far as Kennedy, Morris knows more about him than we do, she is giving him a chance to turn his life around. (I like that) If he blows this chance, then he will pay his dues. On probation he will be watched, he is miserable now as it is. I don't understand the plea deals either, but I didn't take up Law or get a degree. I wouldn't want to walk in the shoes of an attorney or Judge. Personally, I think Kennedy can do this, and come up on top.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 12:52 a.m.

I don't understand how Melinda Morris sleeps at night. This is not the first time she has failed egregiously in her duty to the citizenry.

Bill Wilkins

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 12:57 a.m.

Unfortunately ..I have a feeling that liberal judges sleep quite well after rendering these sorts of verdicts. It's WHO and WHAT they are .


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 12:42 a.m.

I am confused by the part where the mother says "hospital staff allowed Kennedy to stay overnight at the hospital, after visiting hours". Does she mean they literally allowed him to stay or that their lax in security allowed him to stay?


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:48 p.m.

my thoughts exactly...what was he doing there anyway? this statement almost implied to me that he was there to visit the victim...or was he visiting her roommate? if so would hospital staff really knowingly allow a male to visit a female after hours in the children's hospital?


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 11:53 p.m.

Melinda Morris is without adoubt the most lenient judgeon the criminal bench.


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 11:49 p.m.

Melinda Morris has a reputation for handing out lenient sentences, especially to young minorities. This is what happens when you place a person in the judiciary who cares more about liberal beliefs than keeping the community safe. Shame on the prosecutor's office and Ms. Morris. Good Luck to the victim in her recovery and thanks to the police officers who arrested this criminal, I'm sorry your hard work continues to be for nothing as our judges and prosecutor's drop the ball time and time again.


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 11:54 p.m.

so if he was white do u think his sentencing would have been harsher? i guess so!!!!! maybe he should've went in front of judge shelton? he seems fair? what is it w/everyone in this race card!!!!if u haven't noticed it's 2011 which means grow up and mature!!!!!


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 11:42 p.m.

Im sorry to say this is sad for both parties !!! understandably he did not realize the consequences of his actions or the violation to the young girl...but this in all reality is the judicial system fought he was award of the state meaning their responsiblity and he ran away, did they TRY to locate him?, what was going on for him to be in their custody in the first place was he recieving proper counseling? all this could have been prevented somewhat if people aka SOCIAL WORKERS,JUDGES,HEALTH OFFICIALS had more sympathy, empathy, etc instead of thinking this is a PAYCHECK !!!!! good grief people please choose a career that inspires you that you enjoy !!!! the world would be a greater place if people truly cared


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 12:04 a.m.

Garbage, "did not realize"? really? A girl who couldn't walk was attacked by an animal. No excuse for such a vile act.

City Confidential

Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 11:36 p.m.

"Kennedy previously ran away from a foster home that he was assigned to as a part of probation for a juvenile conviction. He had no previous convictions as an adult and this is the first felony on his criminal record..." Wow, I feel so relieved to know that this 17 year old with a juvenile conviction doesn't have any previous convictions as an adult. It may be his first felony conviction now that he's an "adult" but I wonder if it will be his last?

Bill Wilkins

Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 11:29 p.m.

Hey this guy can go out and commit an even more heinous crime. I am sure his victim feels like justice has been served. NOT What a joke our legal system has become. Someone smoking a cigar in a bar would probably get more jail time than this person. A few thousand dollars of taxpayer's money for counseling, and I am sure he'll be a model citizen. What a joke !!!


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 11:07 p.m.

I don't understand these plea deals! Second-degree criminal sexual conduct and assault with intent to commit sexual penetration (READ: RAPE) is pleaded down to 4th degree CSC??? And he only has to go to jail on the weekends? What a joke. I hope the victim can heal emotionally, but I can only imagine it's harder to do so when this is the kind of "justice" she's getting.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

Was it added as a mistake, or to frighten and use as leverage? Anyway, if this really is a matter of a touch on the buttocks, then, if taken seriously, the offender treatment program is appropriate. Inappropriate sexual contact is rampant. I understand in this case the victim was especially vulnerable as she was physically limited. However, the victims are generally vulnerable in one way or another. This type of behavior goes on frequently - even in our Ann Arbor Middle and High Schools. The treatment this young man will receive will be more education than what 90% of other young men and women who have done the same thing will ever get the benefit of. He is still young and able to learn from his mistakes. If you'd really like to lock somebody up when education is more beneficial and cost effective, then you really are not looking to solve a problem and stop the cycle of this kind of behavior, you are just looking for revenge.


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 11:23 p.m.

Ahhh, OK I see...guess I didn't read well enough, oops! Thanks!

Kyle Feldscher

Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 11:16 p.m.

LaMusica - The charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct was dismissed because it was added onto the case by mistake, according to prosecutors.