A Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy senior admitted to a school officer and a police officer that he put semen in a breath mint drop bottle and distributed it to students, the officers testified today.
Saginaw School District Campus Patrol Officer Eric Poole and Saginaw Police Officer Jeffrey Wenzell told Saginaw County District Judge Terry L. Clark during Jordan T. Drake’s preliminary hearing that Drake, 17, admitted to what he described as a “prank.”
Poole testified that an assistant principal told him to speak with Drake after a student on May 15 reported “ingesting” something given to her by Drake.
After about five minutes of giving Poole “the run around,” Drake admitted to putting a “bodily fluid” into a “Ice Drops” breath mint drop bottle. When Poole asked Drake if that fluid was semen, Drake said it was, Poole testified.
After providing Poole a written statement, Drake took the officer to a trash can that he said he threw the bottle into. Poole recovered the bottle, he said.
A Michigan State Police crime lab report presented to Clark stated that the bottle contained semen.
Drake, who lives at 5810 Thistle in Saginaw Township, is charged with a felony count of adulterating or misbranding a food item, which carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.
Drake, who remains free on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond, appeared for today’s hearing, along with approximately 20 family members and friends, dressed in a gray dress shirt, dark slacks, and a black tie.
The hearing was intended for the judge to determine whether probable cause exists for prosecutors to take Drake to trial in Circuit Court.
Clark granted county Assistant Prosecutor Norm Donker’s request to continue the hearing on another date to allow him to have a chemist testify regarding the “Ice Drops” product. Drake’s attorney, Jeffrey J. Rupp, argued that Drake should not be bound over for trial because the product does not meet the state law definition of “food” as “articles used for food or drink for humans or other animals, chewing gum, and articles used for components of any such article.”
Donker asked for the continuance for the chemist to establish that the “Ice Drops” product has the same components as chewing gum.
Clark tentatively scheduled the hearing for June 22.
Rupp also asked the judge to not allow Drake’s written statement to Poole or a verbal statement to Wenzell confirming placing the semen in the bottle. Rupp argued that because Drake was not read his Miranda warnings of his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, his statements should be suppressed.
Rupp said statements to school officials such as Poole are allowed when the official has a “reasonable suspicion” that the individual committed the act. Rupp argued that a female student’s description of Drake distributing the product to the student did not meet that standard.
Clark admitted the statement to Poole and said that Drake’s statement to Wenzell was cumulative.
The female student, 15, testified that she was walking in a hallway with a friend when she encountered Drake, whom she described as an acquaintance. Drake told her to “try this substance” without saying what it was, and the girl did so, she said.
Drake had done something similar months prior, but “this time, it was not fully the texture of a watery liquid,” the girl testified. She said she couldn’t remember what was said next but said that Drake eventually said, “It’s not like it’s my semen or anything” and walked away.
A 17-year-old male student who said Drake was a friend testified that Drake and other friends approached him at his locker and asked him to try the breath mint drop. Because he is “not trusting of people,” the student tried the product but did not place it on his tongue in order to avoid tasting it.
The student told police what Drake said to him afterward, but testified today that he did not remember. After Donker showed him a police report with his statement in it, the student said he remembered what Drake said, but when Donker asked him to repeat it, the student took a deep breath before saying again that he didn’t remember.
Donker declined to ask further questions and said to Saginaw Police Detective Allan Rabideau that he believed the student was embarrassed.
Saginaw School District Spokeswoman Safiya Mosley has said Drake was suspended that day. Drake had enough credits to graduate, Mosley said, and school officials decided that his punishment would be to not be able to participate in commencement activities.