Lansing State Journal [Lansing MI]
May 29, 2021
By Krystal Nurse
A former employee of St. Vincent Catholic Charities children’s home is accused of sexually assaulting a teen girl at the facility.
Lansing Township Police said on Friday Brett Donald Fellows, 30, is accused of committing “more than one sexual assault” between January and February this year with the teen.
In a news release, township police said they received a referral from Child Protective Services on Feb. 28, 2021 regarding sexual assault involving an adult male employee of St. Vincent Home, at 2828 W. Willow St., and “a 16-year-old female protected party placed at the facility.”
On Thursday, township police presented their investigation to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office, which issued an arrest warrant for Fellows’ on three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in foster care. 55th District Court Magistrate Stefani Godsey authorized Fellows’ arrest warrant Thursday.
Lansing Township Police Chief John Joseph confirmed Fellows was fired from the group home after police received the Child Protective Services referral. St. Vincent spokesperson Andrea Bitely confirmed Fellows was terminated on March 1, and the organization is cooperating with law enforcement on the investigation.
“These alleged actions are completely contrary to our mission; STVCC exists to protect and care for children in crisis,” she said in an emailed statement. The statement said the organization recognizes the case could cause “a negative ripple effect that will impact the Children’s Home many years to come.”
St. Vincent Catholic Charities suspended operations at its children’s home the first week of May, citing challenges with staffing. At that time, officials said leaders at St. Vincent had determined “a temporary pause in programming is necessary to properly provide the highest quality of care, the best and safest environment and the right forms of management for both the children and their staff.”
The home accepts children aged 5 to 17 who suffer from abuse and neglect, with typically 90% of the children being wards of the court. Children at the home receive counseling, education and other social services.
State records indicated the home has a compacity of 40 children and was operating on a provisional license expiring in September. Discussions are ongoing with the state Department of Health and Human Services on their licenses.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all children who are victims of crimes,” Bitely concluded in the statement.
Anyone with information regarding the case is encouraged to contact Lansing Township Detective Randy Volosky at (517) 999-0291 or VoloskyR@LansingTownship.org.