GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A trial date for Quinn James, accused of sexually assaulting a teen who later turned up dead, has been moved up two weeks because of a “witness issue.”
James, 42, is charged with four counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly assaulting Mujey Dumbuya in July of last year.
Dumbuya, 16, was found dead in a wooded area of Kalamazoo on Jan. 28. She was 15 in July.
James has not been named a suspect in her death. But police arrested him Feb. 1 — the day after the body was identified — on a 2014 unrelated sex assault case that wasn’t brought when it happened because of what prosecutors called insufficient evidence.
James’ attorney, Jonathan Schildgen, said he was never consulted about moving the trial date and believes it was an unfair “ex-parte” decision.
The date was moved from April 9 to March 26.
Schildgen said moving up a trial date in a felony case is very rare, particularly when it was the first trial date scheduled in the case.
Trial dates often are moved to later dates, not sooner, because of scheduling or attorney conflicts with the date.
Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker acknowledged that moving a trial date up is “not that common” but said a judge has the authority to change a date without consulting either side.
He said the trial date was moved because of a “witness issue,” but did not provide other details.
James is in the Kent Count Jail on a $500,000 bond set after he was arrested Feb. 1 for the 2014 alleged assault.
He is a former Kentwood Public Schools grounds and maintenance worker who was hired in 2011 and fired last year after being charged in November with the alleged assault against Dumbuya.
While Dumbuya attended East Kentwood High School, she met James during the summer in a situation that did not involve his work duties.
Dumbuya was expected to testify at trial against James.