Sigma compliance officer faces molestation charges

Two accusers allege that Michael John Brooks assaulted them over a 12-year span

Dec 3, 2007 @ 12:01 am

By Jeff Benjamin

Michael John Brooks, chief compliance officer at Sigma Financial Corp. in Ann Arbor, Mich., is facing child molestation charges. Mr. Brooks was arrested in Amelia Island, Fla., Nov. 2, ac-cording to Dave Egeler, spokes-man for the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department. The arrest occurred after the police searched Mr. Brooks' Ann Arbor Township home, according to The Ann Arbor News. Last month, Mr. Brooks was honored by InvestmentNews as a finalist in the 2007 Community Leadership Awards in the category of mentoring excellence. Mr. Brooks, who is charged with four counts of second-degree criminal sexual misconduct, was extradited to Michigan and arraigned on Nov. 15. He was freed on $15,000 bond and is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing Dec. 11. The two accusers allege that Mr. Brooks assaulted them over a 12-year span dating to 1995, when Mr. Brooks was working as a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County. "Michael categorically denies the allegations against him," said Mr. Brooks' lawyer, Mark Bilkovi. "We look forward to exposing these two young men in court." Mr. Brooks was placed on a leave of absence as soon as the firm be-came aware of the charges, according to Larry Atorthy of the Farmington Hills, Mich., law firm Kaufman Payton & Chapa, who is general counsel for Sigma Financial. The leave is to last until the matter is resolved, he added. If convicted, Mr. Brooks could face up to 15 years in prison. Jeff Benjamin can be reached at jbenjamin@crain.com.

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