Berrien Co. inmate released by mistake

Berrien County police apologized to a victim and her family after the man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting her was mistakenly released from jail and spotted near her home.

Adam Hudson.

Stevensville, Mich. Berrien Co. police apologized to a victim and her family after a paperwork error led to the mistaken release of an inmate being held for criminal sexual conduct.

Police say Adam Hudson, 30, pleaded guilty to a second degree charge of criminal sexual conduct against his 13-year-old daughter on July 17.

Hudson was supposed to be held without bond until his sentencing on August 11, but a case number discrepancy led to his accidental release on July 23.

Undersheriff Charles Heit of the Berrien County Sherriff's Dept. said there were two different case numbers with different sets of charges against Hudson that led to the error.

"A different case number showed that the counts had been dismissed, but they were different, that was an error, and they do occur," Heit said. "It was very serious, especially when you're dealing with a charge like the one he is in for."

The victim's mother, Valerie Hudson, learned Sunday afternoon that the man she believed to be behind bars was spotted just a block from her house.

"I said that there was no way," said Valerie Hudson, who says she has a personal protection order against her estranged husband. "I wasn't notified. The prosecutor, all the people at the court house... no one else had a clue."

Family friend Raina Acree also holds a protection order against Hudson.

"How did this happen?" Acree said. "I don't understand because I had talked to the prosecutor, I'm supposed to be notified. He had no bond and could not get out."

Police confirmed that Hudson has a lengthy criminal history, which likely led to his bond being revoked.

The victim's family first made authorities aware of the issue on Sunday after Hudson was spotted in their Stevensville mobile home community.

"There is some indication that on Sunday there might have been an issue, but at that time it was still an issue to be worked out with the court," Heit said. "When we looked at it and noticed the different case numbers, the error was identified on Monday. We then devoted all of our resources to getting him picked up."

Police began searching for Hudson around 11am Monday. He was located and booked into the County Jail by 3:30pm the same afternoon.

"It's not something that happens very often," Heit said. "Like I said, our staff does a great job, and in this case there was an error made and we tried to rectify it as soon as possible."

Sheriff Paul Bailey delivered a personal apology to the victim and her family. The Sheriff's Dept. will be looking into the case number discrepancy in order to avoid future errors.

The victim and her family accepted the apology but were upset with the way the issue was initially handled. They say they were passed back and forth between the jail and the courts before anyone would take the blame for the mistake.

"Not knowing that you're safe, not knowing that your kids are safe... to have it where you're finally able to breath and then have it happen again without any kind of notification -- it's awful, absolutely awful," Valerie Hudson said.

Adam Hudson is back in the custody of the Berrien County Jail and is expected to be sentenced on Aug. 11.


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