Left, Khymani Tolbert, 15, will be a registered sex offender with the state of Michigan and while he was sentenced as a juvenile, he will have an adult conviction for third-degree criminal sexual conduct on his record for the rest of his life.

Left, Khymani Tolbert, 15, will be a registered sex offender with the state of Michigan and while he was sentenced as a juvenile, he will have an adult conviction for third-degree criminal sexual conduct on his record for the rest of his life.

Photo by Brian Louwers


Teen sentenced as juvenile in Warren school sex assault case

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published April 4, 2019

MOUNT CLEMENS — A teen accused of sexually assaulting a classmate at Warren’s Lincoln High School last November has been sentenced as a juvenile.

Kyhmani Tolbert, 15, of Warren, could remain a ward of the state until he turns 21, and he will be incarcerated in juvenile detention pending completion of a court-mandated sex offender treatment program.

The sentence handed down April 3 by Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Edward Servitto follows a February jury trial that found Tolbert guilty of a lesser charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Tolbert had been charged as an adult with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and false imprisonment after a 14-year-old classmate told police she was sexually assaulted in a stairwell on Nov. 28, 2017, at Lincoln High School, 22900 Federal Ave.

Investigators sought charges for what Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer called a “heinous, egregious assault” after interviewing the girl and reviewing school surveillance video.

Defense attorney Kenneth Vernier, who could not be reached for comment on the sentence, had questioned the girl about what he called “playful banter” between her and Tolbert earlier in the day of the assault.  Prosecutors argued that the act was clearly not consensual.

Tolbert was 14 when he was charged.

According to court records, he will be remanded to the Macomb County Juvenile Justice Center pending the availability of placement in a secure residential treatment program assigned by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Juvenile Justice Assignment Unit.

It was also noted in records that the court reserves the right to revoke Tolbert’s juvenile sentence and to impose an adult sentence. Macomb County prosecutors indicated that they had sought a lengthy incarceration either way.

Tolbert will be a registered sex offender with the state of Michigan, and while he was sentenced as a juvenile, he will have an adult conviction for third-degree criminal sexual conduct on his record for the rest of his life.  

“The victim and her family have been through quite the ordeal. The emotional scars suffered by the victim of being raped at her school will remain with her a lifetime,” Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Smith said in a statement. “We hope today’s sentencing brings a bit of closure to her suffering. We will ask the judge to sentence defendant to a lengthy adult sentence if he violates probation, as that was our request all along.”

A review hearing in the case was set for Oct. 2.