BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The teen accused of raping a girl and fleeing to Guam was not running from police and doesn’t plan to fight extradition, his mother told 24 Hour News 8.
“He has not been hiding at all,” said Ann Kettner, the mother of suspect Patrick Kettner, 18, who is graduating this year from Big Rapids High School.
She said she told police immediately that her son had flown to Guam to visit his father, who is stationed there in the U.S. Coast Guard.
“I told them within the first three minutes of them being in this house,” she said.
That was about 6 a.m. Monday, she said, when police raided her home just north of Big Rapids.
Her son is accused of teaming up with another suspect — 19-year-old Douglas Robinson — to rape a 15-year-old girl, using force or coercion, during a gathering at the home early Sunday morning.
Robinson is also accused of a second, less-serious sexual assault involving another girl at the same gathering. He is in jail on a $100,000 bond.
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By the time police learned about the allegations and raided the Kettner family home, Patrick Kettner was gone.
Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell said detectives believe he fled to avoid charges. He said they worked with state police and ICE agents to track his travels.
Purcell said detectives were searching credit card records to determine who paid for the flight and said anybody who helped could face charges.
But Ann Kettner said her family wasn’t helping him flee.
“It was kind of a last-minute thing, but he had been talking about it,” his mother said of the trip to Guam. “He went to visit his dad, and there was no warrant for his arrest,” she said.
She said it doesn’t make sense to flee to Guam, since it’s a U.S. territory.
“You cannot hide in Guam. I mean he’s not an idiot. You would have to go to like Sweden or something,” she said.
She said her family has volunteered to fly him back from Guam.
“We’ve been trying to bring him back and they won’t let us. They’re going to bring him back at a cost of I don’t know how much on the county, completely unnecessarily,” she said.
Her son has no criminal record.
“He was joining the Marines. He was in the advanced entry program. That’s all he’d trained his whole life for, and he was ready to go off and, that’s all taken from him. He’s a great kid.”
She said her son turned himself in and wants to return, “to say the other side and start the process, to clear his name.”
Patrick Kettner’s attorney, Scott Grabel, wouldn’t discuss the allegations other than to say: “Our position was nobody was forced to do anything.”
Ann Kettner said her son denied wrongdoing.
“I was not there, but that’s what he claims,” she said.
Kettner was arraigned in a Guam courtroom on a fugitive complaint Friday, May 30.
The Mecosta County Prosecutor Pete Jaklevic was told by Guam authorities that Kettner plans on waiving extradition to Michigan, which could come as soon as Monday. Kettner could be back in Mecosta County by next week.
Police have also searched the home of a relative in Grand Rapids where they found several long guns and two hand guns that Kettner allegedly took from his mother’s home, according to Jaklevic