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Gwinn man sentenced on criminal sexual conduct charges

Brenden Trey Brownell was sentenced on multiple charges related to sexually abusing two children.
Brenden Trey Brownell mugshot.
Brenden Trey Brownell mugshot.(MDOC)
Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 2:22 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - A Gwinn man was sentenced to 25-60 years in prison for charges related to the sexual abuse of two twelve year old children.

The crimes occurred while he was out on bond for another case involving the sexual abuse of a child.

According to Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Wiese, 20-year-old Brenden Trey Brownell pled guilty to the following charges:

  • 5 counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct-1st Degree
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct-2nd degree
  • Aggravated Child Sexually Abusive Activity
  • Child sexually abusive Material-Aggravated possession
  • 2 counts of Child Sexually Abusive Material-possession

These crimes stem from two cases, both of which happened while he free on bond for a previous charge. Brownell had previously been charged with one count of Third Degree Criminal sexual conduct for having sexual relations with a 13-year-old child.

The two cases that occurred while he was on bond involved two different 12-year-old children he sexually abused and exploited for many months. According to Assistant prosecutor Andy Griffin, Brownell connected with the children through a youth group he was allowed to be involved in.

“Mr. Brownell is a child predator. He groomed and abused two different young children while he was facing charges for having done the same to another child. Yet even the prospect of prison was not enough to keep him from committing these heinous crimes,” said Marquette County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Andy Griffin. Instead of being in a safe environment, these children were victimized by the defendant who cared only for his deviant desires.”

Griffin also warned parents that child molesters “act as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They don’t advertise to others that they’re intent on molesting children. Trust your instincts and err on the side of caution when it comes to who is around your children or communicating with them.”

He also commended the children who came forward for their bravery.

“These children are the true heroes in these cases. At only 12 years of age, they reported what he had done to them, they worked with police officers, they worked with our office, and they stood up to take back some of what this monster stole from them. I admire the courage they displayed and hope they find closure on this dark time in their lives,” said Griffin.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Brownell spent 609 days in jail during the disposition, entered his guilty pleas on March 25, and was sentenced on Friday, June 11. He is currently in the Marquette Branch Prison awaiting transfer to the Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center in Jackson.

The earliest date he will be eligible for parole is October 10, 2044.

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