In a podcast released Wednesday, Attorney Brandon Wolfe told the host of The Tudor Dixon Podcast his reasons for naming Ingham County Clerk Barbara Byrum and her husband, Deputy Sheriff Brad Delaney, as co-defendants in the federal lawsuit he filed last month against the Mason Public School District, Mason High School Principal Lance Delbridge, and Mason High School Assistant Principal Nicholas Toodzio.

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Wolfe’s client is the family of a young woman sexually assaulted in eighth grade by Byrum and Delaney’s son, identified as B.D. in court documents. The young woman (referred to as E.M.) and her family sued after her expelled assailant was reinstated one year later in violation of a court-ordered personal protection order and a federal Title IX determination.

B.D.’s reinstatement, Wolfe told Dixon, came about after Byrum and Delaney exercised the influence of their respective public offices when they petitioned the Mason School Board to reinstate their son.

“And this school is not a big school,” Wolfe said about Mason High School, which instructs just over 1,000 students. “This is a small school,” he added, highlighting the likelihood of E.M. encountering her assailant multiple times throughout the school day, during extracurricular activities, and at afterschool functions – all which violated the PPO filed against B.D. despite the school implementing a no-contact order between B.D. and E.M.

“I don’t know how you can reconcile the fact to talk and be an advocate for sexual assault victims on one hand, but then you know, allow your trying to your child to go right back into the same school with the victim,” he told Dixon. “It’s difficult. The school kind of put itself in a difficult spot, right, because they knew the PPO was in place. And basically, what they did was say, let’s do a no-contact order, which means nothing. It means basically nothing in the school itself, because it’s almost impossible to implement.”

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Wolfe continued: “You can’t implement something like that because she’s inevitably going to see this person in the halls in the school, in the classrooms, in the lunch period. And basically what the no-contact order does is treat her as she’s equally blameworthy for her own assault, meaning she can’t go down certain halls. Basically, what they say is, why don’t you suck it up and go down a different hall, why don’t you take a different class?”

Wolfe said the lawsuit was prompted by the Mason School District’s ineptitude.

“[W]e sued the Mason Public School District because they completely dropped the ball on this,” he said. “I mean, really, I think they had an easy out. They could have said, well, you know what, Look, we’ve got a victim here. We’ve got a student that’s been convicted of sexual assault going right back into the same school. We’ve got an easy out here, and we can just say, ‘you know, look, this is a school of choice kid. He can pick another school or go in the school wherever he resides in and that’s it. I mean, we need to think about the victim here.”

When asked if B.D. was reinstated by the school due to Byrum and Delaney’s politicial influence, Wolfe responded in the affirmative.

“I think people are tired of just corruption in politics,” he said. “I think the favoritism, the egregious favoritism here. I mean, I wonder if this was a factory worker’s boy or blue-collar worker’s son. I wonder if he would enjoy the same privileges that this person is enjoying right now,” he said, adding, “I mean, yeah, it could have been an easy thing. If I was a parent, I would have been like, you know what, let’s just take the loss on this one, and let’s put him in a different school and let’s change. Let’s let’s close this chapter in his life. Let’s move on.”

Wolfe pointed out the contrast between B.D. returning to Mason High School and the impact it has on E.M. For E.M., he said, “It’s like being locked in the same jail cell as your perpetrator, you know what I mean? You’re in the same building all the time where you see this person that assaulted you. I mean, that’s traumatic. And for a 14-year-old girl,” he said.

“[I]t’s bad enough that she had to go through the initial assault, but now he returns to the school, reopens all those wounds, and she has to see him again every single day. It’s ridiculous to me that decision.”