MASON, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – The outrage surrounding the Title IX lawsuit filed on behalf of an Ingham County female student who was allegedly sexually assaulted in class by the son of two well-known Ingham County officials is growing.
The girl’s attorney called out parents Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum and Ingham County Detective Sergeant Brad Delaney in what he called the “entitlement of the family” after they petitioned to have their son reinstated in Mason Public Schools after a permanent expulsion.
“Something is going on,” said attorney Brandon Wolfe who represents the girl. “There is no reason for this egregious favoritism other than he is Barb Byrum and Brad Delaney’s child.”
Michigan News Source first reported on the filing last week. Court documents say the boy “digitally penetrated” the girl in class over several days when the two were middle school students in May 2022. The investigation, referred to the Mason City Police and then the Attorney General’s Office, resulted in the boy’s permanent expulsion per school board policy.
Were charges filed?
No charges were issued against the boy at the time, and citing a conflict of interest in Ingham County because of Delaney’s employment, Mason City Police referred the case to the Michigan Attorney General and the neighboring Jackson County Prosecutor’s office. Prosecutors asked the girl if she wanted to testify against the boy. Wolfe said his client wanted to close that chapter of her life and since he was already expelled, she wanted to move on.
Wolfe pointed out that the law does allow Byrum and Delaney to petition the board for reinstatement and both did so properly. However, reinstatement of their school-of-choice son put him back in the same hallways with his alleged victim. She petitioned the court for a Personal Protection Order (PPO), which was granted and then recently renewed. School administrators, who are named in the lawsuit, only issued a “no-contact” rule between both students.
Since the statute of limitations has not been reached, the girl could still file criminal charges now that her abuser is back in school where her PPO continues to be violated.
Barb Byrum and her mother, Dianne Byrum.
It’s not the first time the Byrum family has been in the spotlight for legal maneuvering. Byrum’s mother, Dianne Byrum, served as head of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees when it failed to be transparent with investigations, interviews, and documents in the Larry Nassar scandal.
Calls for Byrum and Delaney’s resignations.
Meanwhile, one candidate running for state representative has called for Byrum and Delaney’s resignations. Christian Charette, who is running for a seat in Michigan’s 22nd district, told Michigan News Source when elected officials break the public’s trust, they prove they cannot handle the role given to them by their constituents.
“All in all, this shines a very poor light on Barb Byrum,” Charette said. “If nothing else, it proves she’s a hypocrite.”
Charette also pointed out what he calls a two-tiered system of justice. “Attorney General Nessel can definitely expect something from me in the coming weeks,” he said. “It seems we are hearing about stories like this from Lansing every other week. I would want to know what [Nessel] plans to do about corruption in general. We’re rewarding bad behavior by not doing anything about it [and] this cannot continue.”
Michigan News Source reached out to Barb Byrum for a comment but she did not respond by press time.