MSU Police captain arrested, MSP requests criminal charges

Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 4:15 PM EST
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MASON, Mich. (WILX) - According to jail records, Michigan State University Police captain Valerie O’Brien, has been arrested. This information was confirmed by the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office.

The jail’s website does not list specific charges.


MSP requests criminal charges to be filed in regards to the arrest of MSU police captain Valerie O’Brien. Due to her professional ties and connections to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office, the Prosecutor has filed a conflict designation and request with the state Attorney General so that a special prosecutor will be appointed. Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Scott Hughes confirmed this.


O’Brien was formerly Assistant Chief of the MSUPD, although she was demoted after spending over a year on paid administrative leave, which began in April of 2019 due to a pending investigation. The details of the investigation are not yet available.

She was demoted to Captain when she returned after several conduct violations during a Title IX investigation, including resetting her university-provided phone before handing it over to police.

O’Brien is married to a now-former detective in the MSUPD, JJ Bradac. Although the reason has not been disclosed, Bradac was on leave during the same time as O’Brien. Bradac has since left the department.

One of the more notable cases O’Brien worked on was the investigation of Larry Nassar in 2014. Nassar, the former Assistant Professor at MSU’s Department of Family and Community Medicine in the College of Human Medicine, was sentenced to 175 years in a Michigan state prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of sexual assault of minors. O’Brien was a detective who was the lead investigator in one of the sexual assault complaints against former MSU physician Larry Nassar.

According to Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wrigglesworth, O’Brien was arrested but has not yet been arraigned. She was being held at the Ingham County Jail but was released Thursday. Sheriff Wrigglesworth said the arrest was not made by the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office. She is out of custody at this time, but the prosecutor’s office is not telling us much more about the case.

The MSU Police Department also told News 10 that they did not perform the arrest, but would not confirm further details such as whether or not O’Brien was suspended; claiming it is inappropriate to discuss the personnel matter. The police department said they are aware of the incident and the conduct is under review.

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