Ypsilanti’s Leonardo Devinci Christian charged with sexual abuse of a minor

    According to a report posted yesterday at AnnArbor.com, a well-known Ypsilanti man by the name of Leonardo Devinci Christian has been arrested on multiple criminal sexual charges, which include “one count of sexual penetration with an uninformed partner when there’s risk of AIDS, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.” And, as if that weren’t bad enough, the victim, now 14, was apparently 13 at the time that the alleged abuse began. (There is still no word as to whether or not the boy has contracted the HIV virus.) Christian, it would appear, met the boy through one of the charitable events that he was known for hosting in the community.

    While I don’t know Christian personally, I was aware of the holiday dinners that he would coordinate downtown, and the fundraiser that he initiated to help the families of the three children that died in the Paradise Manor fire of 2007. Last night, when I was told of his arrest, I mentioned to my friends that I wouldn’t know him if I saw him, but, now that I see his photo in the news, I recognize him from City Council meetings, where he, as an employee of former mayoral candidate Steve Pierce, could be seen videotaping sessions for the website that Pierce operates – YpsiNews.com. While I don’t think that I ever spoke with Christian personally, I know that we share many acquaintances in common, and, from what I’m hearing, these people are absolutely devastated. No one, from what I’m hearing, had any inkling that Christian was capable of doing these things that he’s been accused of.

    It’s worth reiterating that, as of right now, these are just accusations. Christian has not been found guilty of anything, and we do not know the extent of the evidence against him.

    [note: Knowing someone who was wrongly accused of having had sexual relations with a minor, I am very aware of how devastating such allegations can be, and, as such, I was reluctant to post this. As several people wrote to me, though, asking for me to start a thread, so that they would have somewhere other than AnnArbor.com to discuss this story, I thought that I'd put something up. I would ask, however, that people keep in mind that, as of right now, Christian is still an innocent man.]

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      20 Comments

      1. Dan
        Posted September 1, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        He lived up to his name.

      2. Dan
        Posted September 1, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        (allegedly)

      3. koosh
        Posted September 1, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        classy. i like how you tied steve pierce to this.

      4. Edward
        Posted September 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        There’s a special place in hell for men like Michale Jackson (allegedly) and Jerry Sandusky (allegedly) who take advantage of young children they claim to be helping.

      5. Posted September 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Sorry if that offended you, Koosh. For what it’s worth, that’s not why I posted this story. As much as Steve and I may disagree on issues, I don’t see as how he could have been expected to know what Christian was allegedly up to. And, as such, I don’t hold him at all responsible for this. The reason I mentioned Steve is that I can’t mention YpsiNews without mentioning him, and it’s through YpsiNews that I knew of Christian. I’m sorry if you don’t like that, but the fact is that Christian worked for Steve, filming meetings. And, for what it’s worth, Steve was also quoted in the AnnArbor.com article about this case.

      6. anonymous
        Posted September 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Koosh, I can’t even begin to imagine what the headline at YpsiNews.com would be if it were an employee of MarkMaynard.com that was caught having sex with a child. Give it a fucking rest. All Mark said was that the guy worked for Steve/YN, which he did. It’s a fact. Get the fuck over it. Mark didn’t say that Steve was responsible for Leonardo’s acts.

      7. MrMikesHardCoreSot
        Posted September 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        It seems pretty obvious when you lie down with dogs you come up with fleas.

      8. Knox
        Posted September 1, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        I hate living in a world where one has to be suspicious of men who work in the community with at-risk children.

      9. dragon
        Posted September 2, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink

        “one count of sexual penetration with an uninformed partner when there’s risk of AIDS, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.”

        I sure hope my 13 year old is fully informed of the risky partnership he is taking on as he’s being raped by a 50 year old man.

      10. ypsifunk
        Posted September 2, 2012 at 5:27 am | Permalink

        Wow. This guy lives next door to me. He is always super friendly and seems to really care about the community. Guess you can’t trust anybody these days.

      11. Posted September 2, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        The trolls will come out soon and blame Democrats.

      12. Oliva
        Posted September 2, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        It is devastating to hear. Leo has been a completely warm and giving member of our community, and I just sincerely hope this is found to be untrue. (He worked/works for Steve P. but didn’t/doesn’t share his politics.) A big presence in our town. May this be untrue. (What an absolute horror to the young victim if it is true–and to the possibilities of trust.) Oh, what a sad thing.

      13. Mark k
        Posted September 2, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        Peter your comment makes you a troll by definition. Just saying.

      14. 734
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        I’ll agree that this isn’t the right occasion to attack Steve, as he likely didn’t enable Leonardo in any way, but the guy does have incredibly bad judgment when it comes to picking his friends.

        Dave Curtis. Crook.
        Mike Eller. Racist. Homophobe. Sexist.
        Leonardo Christian. Pedophile.

      15. lorie
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:54 am | Permalink

        I don’t Leonardo any better than Mark has described. I too know someone that has been wrongly accused of sexual relations with a minor but I also know more than one person who have been charged with criminal sexual behavior who are just plain guilty as hell.

        What is frustrating to me is that the outcome of this case depends more on who the accused can hire as an attorney and less on the evidence of a crime. These are complicated laws and legal proceedings.

        It is my hope that Leonardo can hire someone good enough for him to get fair treatment from our theoretically blind justice system.

      16. Houseboy
        Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        I always thought it was strange that a well-to-do white man like Steve Pierce kept a houseboy in this day and age. I saw this guy all the time picking up litter around Steve’s house, watering his flowers ect. I found it kinda creepy – but I find Steve kinda creepy so I’m not too surprised.

      17. Meta
        Posted September 11, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        The police believe they’ve identified two more victims.

        http://annarbor.com/news/ypsilanti/more-charges-coming-against-ypsilanti-man-charged-with-sexually-assaulting-14-year-old-boy/#.UE_gpY5XFFI

      18. EOS
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        Someone is posting on AnnArbor.com about this story using EOS as their tag. It is not me.

      19. Edward
        Posted September 24, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        It looks now as though he may have sexually abused two other boys as well.

        http://www.annarbor.com/news/crime/hiv-positive-ypsilanti-man-charged-with-sexually-assaulting-two-more-victims/#.UGBvihihDrs

      20. Rodney Leon
        Posted April 26, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        WOW !!!! I’ve known him since 1982 where I met him in Lansing at a community center that I was teaching art at, when he lived in the same block.
        I knew he was gay or leaning, but he never came on to me so I ignored it.
        I would have bet against him being guilty of this since he does so much for so many and has for decades.
        I’d have to look in his eyes to be convinced this happened.
        But an accusation of any type is disturbing obviously.
        If anybody knows how to reach him please forward the info to rodneysleon@hotmail.com

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