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Kent Commissioner arraigned on four rape charges | News

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Kent Commissioner arraigned on four rape charges
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GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls was formally charged Friday with six felonies, four of them criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, which is punishable by up to life in prison. Rolls is also charged with using a computer to commit a crime and destroying evidence.

Appearing via video from the Kent County Jail, Rolls heard Judge Sara Smolenski read the charges as his lawyer, Jeff O'Hara, listened in her 63rd District Courtroom. In the four CSC charges, the judge said Rolls is accused of coercing the "victim by exerting his authoritative position."

Judge Smolenski set bond at $500,000. Rolls said that the high bond would keep him in jail and prevent him from, "working with my attorney to prove my innocence." Rolls' attorney said his client is innocent of the charges.

The charges, the judge said, involve digital sexual penetration with a girl under 13 sometime between 1994 and 1997; digital sexual penetration with a girl between the ages of 13 and 16 between 1997 and 2000; and cunnilingus and fellatio with the same girl during the same time period.

The alleged victim, now 29, moved to Rolls' Rockford neighborhood when she was 8. She has said the assaults started soon after.

Rolls, a republican, has served on the Kent County Board of Commissioners since 2002, representing a northeast portion of the County. County officials have said the only way he can be removed from office is for Rolls to resign, or be voted out.

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