Prosecutor: Victim’s Advocate broke off relationship before being assigned to Dumbuya case

Posted at 8:43 PM, Jul 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-12 20:55:11-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  —   Quinn James is accused of raping and murdering Grand Rapids teenager Mujey Dumbuya, and he used to date the victim’s advocate assigned to Dumbuya after the alleged 2017 rape. But the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office says the victim’s advocate – Natasha Broy – broke off communication with James before being assigned to the Dumbuya case.

Kent County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Becker tells FOX 17 in an email the relationship between James, 42, and Broy was “over well before (the November) court hearing, and we have found no evidence they were in contact at all during that period.”

Victim advocates typically offer emotional, informational and other support to victims during the legal process. 

Dumbuya, a 16-year-old East Kentwood High School student, vanished from the Grand Rapids area on January 24, 2018, and was found dead four days later, on January 28, in a wooded area of Kalamazoo’s West Douglas neighborhood. Quinn James – a one-time grounds and maintenance worker at the high school – was formally charged April 11 with murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges. Prior to her death, Dumbuya was scheduled to testify against James in connection with a sexual assault she told police occurred when she was 15 years old. Also charged in April was a 58-year-old acquaintance of James’, Gerald Bennett of Detroit. He was hit with a Conspiracy to Commit Murder rap.

Recently, a closed hearing about the case was held, and Prosecutor Becker acknowledges details about the romantic relationship between Broy and James were part of the hearing.  But Becker denies claims that Broy continued to stay in touch with James on the phone or in-person until a pre-trial court hearing was held in November 2017.

The victim’s advocate is no longer involved in the criminal case.

Prior to the Dumbuya case, James already was in jail on unrelated charges stemming from a 2014 assault case.