Lawyer, prosecutor react to Kenneth Tennant verdict

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - Prosecutors were glad they at least got a felony conviction on the record.

With it, Kenneth Tennant will go to prison for up to four years. His lawyer, Patrick O'Keefe was less pleased.

"Well, I'm disappointed in the decision, but I respect the jury's decision," he said.

O'Keefe spoke to FOX 47's Megan Hiler just minutes after the jury's verdict was read. Tennant was acquitted of sexually assaulting a then 14-year-old in his living room. He was found guilty of inappropriately touching a then 15-year-old in his bed while he and other children watched TV.

"My client was acquitted of a 15-year felony, and I think that is recognition that the jury did their job," O'Keefe said.

Jurors took about three and a half hours to come to their decision. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Lisa McCormick called it a tough case but believed the conviction was sound. With it, Tennant will have to register as a sex offender and has the potential to serve a maximum of four years in prison.

"That is a felony conviction and we know that there is a safety concern obviously that people may have. Obviously with that secured we won't have to worry about him teaching or being around children," McCormick said.

McCormick hopes the victims can heal now that Tennant has been convicted of at least one of the crimes.

"We are just proud of them for coming out and having the courage to tell their story. And hopefully the healing process will begin for them," she said.

Tennant is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11.

Tennant was a volunteer assistant basketball coach for Webberville's girls team. He was not on the staff when he committed the crime. His wife is still head coach and the district rejected her offer to resign after her husband's arrest.