A Michigan bill to mandate teaching affirmative consent, or "yes means yes" policy, as the standard during sex education at public schools is unlikely to budge in the Republican-controlled Legislature before the summer recess.

But as topics of sexual misconduct and abusive men have grown with the rise of the (hash)MeToo movement, supporters remain optimistic that the idea will gain traction in future legislative sessions.

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law more than $50 million in additional federal and state spending to implement a sexual assault evidence kit tracking system, fight opioid addiction and boost other budget priorities. 

The supplemental budget bill enacted Thursday reimburses costs incurred by the National Guard to aid in hurricane relief. It also restores about $3 million in spending Snyder previously vetoed. Reinstated spending will fund a study of the potential of genomic testing to identify people with a propensity for addiction to painkillers.

Western Michigan man sentenced after 2 rape convictions

Oct 12, 2017

A West Michigan man has been sentenced to 24-51 years in prison for drugging and raping two women. Thirty-two-year-old Larry Stiff learned his sentence Tuesday after a Muskegon County jury last month convicted him of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving incapacitated victims. He received the sentence for each of the counts and will serve the sentences at the same time. 

The Muskegon Chronicle reports four women testified their drinks were drugged before they were sexually assaulted. Two others said they were drugged but managed to escape being assaulted.


A criminal case review team has formed to look at sexual assault allegations on or near Grand Valley State University's Allendale campus. The update comes after the news organization last year reported some sexual assaults being disclosed to university staff were slow to reach police and some weren't forwarded to the Ottawa County prosecutor's office.

Scales of Justice
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

A state commission is urging that Michigan establish and fund an electronic tracking system to ensure sexual assault evidence kits are processed without delay.

The recommendation made Wednesday stems from a review by the Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking and Reporting Commission.

The board was created in 2015 after the discovery of 11,000 untested rape kits in storage at the Detroit Police Department.

Legislation is recommended to require a uniform statewide tracking system.

Medical providers, law enforcement agencies and laboratories would have to enter data.


Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is looking for money to prosecute rapists.

Worthy says clearing up a backlog of more than 11,000 untested rape kits was just the first step.

“Because you can have them all tested and that doesn’t bring justice to any victim at all. You have to investigate them the old-fashioned way, just like you would any cold case, then they have to be prosecuted.”

Worthy says her office has already gotten 40 convictions, and she has about a thousand more cases ready to be investigated.

Legislation going to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk would expand a mechanism by which a mother can go to court to have the father's paternity revoked if a child is conceived through rape.

The process is already allowed if there is a rape conviction.

But advocates say women may not press charges due to fear and intimidation tactics used by perpetrators.

The bill sent to Snyder by the Senate on Tuesday allows a mother who proves by "clear and convincing" evidence that her child was conceived as a result of rape to have the perpetrator's paternity revoked.

Police car lights
Wikimedia | Matty Ring | CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia.org

Testing has begun on close to 2,000 untested sexual assault evidence kits in the state, including several hundred in west Michigan.

The 1,819 untested kits were identified in January by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office. At that time, all the kits were at least a year old.

The January numbers include 199 untested kits at the Grand Rapids Police Department and 113 at the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

The numbers do not include Wayne County, which completed a backlog of more than 10,000 untested kits in a separate effort last year.

Man convicted in 1996 rape, slaying sentenced to life

Nov 17, 2015

KALKASKA, Mich. (AP) - A 37-year-old man who was convicted in the 1996 rape and slaying of a northern Michigan woman has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.