Teen who raped 14-year-old in Lincoln HS stairwell gets juvenile sentence

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He's accused of brutally raping a 14-year-old classmate inside Lincoln High School in Warren in November of 2017.

Khymani Tolbert was tried as an adult on three counts of criminal sexual conduct and unlawful imprisonment.   A jury found Tolbert, 15 years old, guilty of the lesser charge, third degree criminal sexual conduct in February. 

And Wednesday in court a Macomb County judge gave Khymani Tolbert a juvenile sentence with a stern warning for it. 

"This was a violent attack against the victim," the assistant prosecutor said in court.

But Tolbert's defense lawyer Ken Vernier said Tolbert was in court to "accept responsibility for that" adding his family members were also in attendance to support him. 

The girl, now 16 years old, previously testified that right after school that November day, Tolbert started putting his hands down her pants. When she resisted, he slammed her down. The attack was caught on school surveillance and lasted 25 minutes.
"I gave up," the victim had testified. "Because he was going to do what he was going to do."

Tolbert, who has also been accused of having sex with another girl who was not old enough to consent two weeks before that, says Wednesday he wants to take responsibility for his actions.

"I was wrong," Tolbert said in court. "I should have realized that she wanted to stop."

Tolbert's attorney told the judge that Tolbert has had a rough upbringing and should be given treatment in a long-term facility.

 But prosecutors say that Tolbert is likely to re-offend, referencing his behavior before the trial.

"He threatened to kill the victim when he was in the Juvenile Justice Center," the assistant prosecutor said.

But that victim sent a letter to the judge telling him she doesn't want Tolbert's life to be ruined, that he's still "just a kid." 

Judge Edward Servitto admired her understanding and compassion and sentenced Tolbert as a juvenile.
"Do you understand this will be your one and only shot?" asked Servitto. 
Yes, your honor," Tolbert said.

Tolbert will enter an intense sex offender program - his maximum time there, six years, when he turns 21. His first review is in six months.

"It's about you learning respect for others, it is about you accepting responsibility for conduct that is not acceptable in our society," Servitto said. "You will do that Mr. Tolbert or you will go to big boy prison."