A man who admitted to police he molested up to eight boys in the 1980s was sentenced to prison on Friday, but not for the child sex abuse.
“The things he did to us we’re going to live with forever. We’ll get over them and move on, he changed the course of a lot of people’s lives,” said Brad White, one of Randall Doctor’s victims.
Doctor was sentenced to two years in prison on a gun charge and 30 months in prison on drug charges.
In July of 2014, for the first time, one of Doctor’s victims went to authorities and Michigan State Police launched an investigation. MSP was able to find eight victims, all of whom had nearly identical stories.
“Here we have eight victims, eight men that came forward 30 years after theses assaults took place. I would stake my reputation that there are many, many people out there that do not want to come forward because of the embarrassment and they just don’t want to have to deal with it anymore,” MSP Detective Sgt. Gregory Poulson says.
According to the victims, Doctor would take them on rides in his truck to secluded locations and give them alcohol and drugs, often marijuana, and then molest them.
“We had to stop him because he was still going to hurt another kid and I don’t ever want anybody to live what we lived through,” Brad White said.
Last summer, police raided Doctor’s Muskegon County home and found guns and a marijuana growing operation, which led to the charges for which Doctor was sentenced on Friday.
Doctor can’t be brought up on child sex abuse charges because at the time the sex assaults occurred, Michigan had a statute of limitations on that type of crime. The law changed in 2001 to remove the statute of limitations on child sex crimes, but the change was not retroactive.
“Given the limitations of the changes we were able to bring against Mr. Doctor, in this case we are very pleased with the decision the judge made,” Muskegon County Assistant Prosecutor Rachael McEnhill said.
During questioning, Doctor admitted to authorities he had sexually molested the boys in the 1980s. Authorities also found a man with a similar story from the 1990s, but he told authorities he couldn’t remember if Doctor had molested him.
“For all those years, we lived with thinking we were bad people and just that there was something wrong with us,” White said.
Also during their investigation, police found that in the summer of 2014, Doctor took a 14-year-old boy that lived across the street from him on a trip to either Sleeping Bear Dunes or Silver Lake Dunes — the boy couldn’t remember. Police said they did not find any illegal behavior, but McEnhill said in court on Friday that she believed Doctor was grooming the boy.
Legislation in Lansing put forth by state Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, would make Michigan’s 2001 law regarding child sex abuse cases retroactive. That would allow victims from when there was a statute of limitations to come forward and prosecutors to issue charges.
It’s a change the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office supports.
“The victims in this case and the community is aware (Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J.) Hilson and our office is supporting the legislation that would change the statute of limitations, thus allowing us to charge this case and pursue those criminal charges against Mr. Doctor, which we want to do,” McEnhill said.
“I feel justice has been served for this part of the process. I think it’s a good day for all of us as victims. We can put this day behind us and say, yeah, this is a stepping stone to get this law changed and help prevent this from happening to other victims in the future,” victim Bryan Derr said.
Doctor spoke to his victims in the courtroom Friday.
“I want to apologize to all the victims from years back. I’m very, very sorry for what I’ve done. I understand the pain you’ve been though because I’ve been though it myself. I didn’t realize how wrong I was at the time, but once I’ve gotten my head straightened out I tried to change now I know I’ve caused harm and I’m very sorry for what I did,” he said.
His victims and the prosecutor said the judge’s sentence of Doctor on Friday was a win.
“At least for the next few years, Mr. Doctor will not be able to perpetrate on the children on Muskegon County and to me that is a victory today,” McEnhill said.
“Now he’s gone and Muskegon is a safer place today because the children of Muskegon are safer because Randy Doctor is locked away,” White said.