Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Officer Involved Domestic Violence - Walt Bogdanich and Leonard Lopate

Police Officer-Involved Domestic Violence
The Leonard Lopate Show
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
http://www.wnyc.org/story/police-officer-involved-domestic-violence/?utm_source=sharedUrl&utm_media=metatag&utm_campaign=sharedUrl




Pulitzer Prize winning Frontline correspondent Walt Bogdanich discusses “A Death in St. Augustine,” a collaborative project with The New York Times that investigates police officer-involved domestic violence. He discusses the hidden problem of officer-involved domestic violence, and the story at this investigation's heart: that of young single mother Michelle O'Connell who was found dead from a gunshot after she broke up with her boyfriend, who was a cop. The sheriff’s office ruled it suicide—but was it?


Cloudwriter - National OIDV - can be reached at:
www.behindthebluewall.blogspot.com




























Sunday, November 24, 2013

LA Times - OIDV


On November 24, 2013 the LA Times published an article on the unsolved OIDV murder of Aleta Brown [1988].
http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-browne-cold-case-20131124-dto,0,4797936.htmlstory#ixzz2mNVnaHCB

























Thank you New York Times and Frontline

Published On: Nov 24 2013 01:09:52 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 24 2013 02:04:28 PM EST










A big thank you and huge hug to everyone at the New York Times and Frontline who worked so hard to give officer involved domestic violence victims a voice!
 
You have managed to do what no one outside of OIDV has done before - You put the public in the shoes of what it is like to be a victim of OIDV and what it is like for them when their abuser is protected behind the blue wall.
 
The ending segment of Frontline's documentary with Sheriff Shoar standing before his department giving a 'sermon'  in 'cop church' demandng that his 'troops'  stand behind Deputy Banks - instead of standing up to justice - was priceless.  That is  mentality of what too many OIDV victims are  up against. It is why OIDV is different than non-officer involved DV.
 
As Cloudwriter has said about being a victim of OIDV "it's a  different kind of being scared" - www.behindthebluewall.blogspot.com
 



Thank you,
Renee' Harrington
Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence website
www.michiganoidv.blogspot.com





**************************




 


 

Cloudwriter's post on Michelle O' Connell's death:

[FL] It's that simple? Anonymous deputy says his anonymous girlfriend killed herself and the anonymous investigators believe him.
http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2010/09/fl-its-that-simple-anonymous-deputy.html

 

 


Too Many Said-Suicides of Law Enforcement Officer's wives, girlfriends, dates, and ex's
http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2013/09/too-many-said-suicides-of-law.html



























Michigan OIDV cases of officers' spouses who supposedly committed suicide...



With The New York Times' and Frontline's recent coverage of the questionable investigation of Michelle O' Connell's death [girlfriend of Florida St. John Sheriff Deputy Jeremy Banks], Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence is highlighting this month its Michigan 'suicide' cases.

It's more common than you think - As suicide rulings are often based on what the officer himself claims happened to his spouse /girlfriend.







Unnamed girlfriend of Unnamed Detroit Police Officer commits suicide??? http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2013/07/unnamed-girlfriend-of-unnamed-detroit_23.html





On July 23, 2013, Detroit Police Officer William Zeolla told fellow police officers that he found his girlfriend Angela Kolhagen in his backyard. According to Zeolla, while he was home, Angela took his service gun and went outside and shot herself. Zeolla then carried her body to the front yard - thus disturbing the possible crime scene.

All suicides are supposed to be treated like homicides - and it isn't until homicide can be outruled that a death is considered a sucide. In Angie's case, it appears that it was quickly decided that she had committed suicide because that's what Officer Zeolla said. End of story. Case closed.

Angie was so unimportant to the Detroit PD, that they did not release her name. After several days of OIDV specialists tracking down info on the victim, we came up with not only Angie's name but the name of her boyfriend: Officer William Zeolla.

More searching by our OIDV group on the mysterous Officer Zeolla and we discovered why the Detroit PD and his family and friends were protective of his identity: Zeolla has a long history of police brutality - backed up with lawsuits filed by his victims.

The officers, who have been involved in excessive-force lawsuits that collectively have cost the city $660,000 in settlements

At the time of Angie's death, Officer Zeolla and the Detroit PD were being sued for Zeolla excessive force in yet another case of police brutality....











Jennifer Webb  -  August 30, 2011

Officer Kenneth Bluew trial for JenniferWebb murder
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/08/officer-bluew-trial-for-murder-of.html


On August 30, 2011 Jennifer Webb's lifeless body was discovered hanging at the Buena Vista PD gun range. At first, the Buena Vista PD handled Jennifer's death as a suicide.

But when Chief Brian Booker discovered that Jennifer was the girlfriend of one of his married officers - Kenneth Bluew - and that Jennifer was eight months pregnant with Bluew's son, the Chief turned Jennifer's death investigation over to the Michigan State Police.

Officer Kenneth Bluew was charged with the murder of Jennifer Webb and the death of his unborn son. On October 11, 2012 he was convicted and sentenced in November 2012 to life in prison.

The Michigan State Police's exemplary investigation of Jennifer's supposed suicide, should be mandated protocal for any "suicide" investigation of a police officer's spouse / girlfriend.









Lori Dekleine - January 10, 2008
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2008/01/officer-ken-dekleine-holland-police.html


On January 10, 2008, the body of Lori DeKleine - ex wife of Holland police officer Ken DeKleine - was found hanging in her basement. Ken's fellow officers immediately processed the scene as a suicide, not a homicide. It wasn't until Lori's divorce attorney - Holly Verde - contacted authorities and told them that Lori had feared for her life, that Lori's death was processed as a homicide - by the Michigan State Police.

The MSP investigation of Lori's murder revealed that Officer DeKleine had violated the protective order numerous times during the months leading up to Lori's death - And that the Holland PD did nothing. After Lori's murder, the Holland Police Chief John Kruithoff admitted during an interview with a news station that although Lori's PPO was on file with his police department, he had NEVER bothered to read it.

Had the Chief 'bothered' to read Lori's PPO, that she had obtained on January 31, 2007, he would have realized how much danger she was in. Lori outlined years of abuse which included rape; Ken abusing his police powers to stalk her and even plant a tape recorder on her.

Lori's PPO request:
"I have become increasingly terrified and afraid for my life..."

Kenneth DeKleine was convicted of Lori's murder in July 2008, and was sentenced to life in prison.









Officer Tabitha McCree, Detroit PD -
January 19, 2007
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/01/officer-tabitha-mccree-detroit-police.html


Murder or Suicide?

On January 19, 2007 Officer Tabitha McCree - who was off duty at the time - met with her ex-husband Jaimie McCree while he was on duty in a secluded area of Detroit.

And then there was gunfire, with Tabitha substaining a gun wound to her stomach. Tabitha told responding EMT and hospital personnel that her ex-husband Officer Jaimie McCree had shot her.

Tabitha died a few hours later, during surgery - At that point, with their witness / victim dead, the Detroit Police Department changed it's story and claimed that Tabitha had committed suicide.

"It was a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said after the officer died at Detroit Receiving Hospital.

End of investigation. Hmmm....










Flint PD Dispatcher Kimberly Thompson - May 01, 1993
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/1993/05/trooper-douglas-wright.html



On May 01, 1993 Kimberly Thompson's ex-husband /former Michigan State Police trooper Douglas Wright visited her home to go over their divorce papers.

A few hours later, Kimberly was dead from a bullet wound. Wright claimed that he and Kimberly had
"drank hard, then fought even harder". According to Wright he went outside to cool off, and Kimberly, who had remained inside the home took his duty gun and shot herself.


The medical examiner concluded the evidence was conflicting and declined to say whether Kimberly's death was a suicide or a homicide. For years, it appeared as Kimberly's death would always go unresolved.

Then in 2000, newly elected Genessee County Sheriff Robert Pickell opened Kimberly's cold case file. Sheriff Pickell's investigation led to Wright being convicted for Kimberly's murder in 2003.

Wright is currently serving 25-50 years in prison for Kimberly's murder.









For more articles on officers' spouses who supposedly committed suicide:


"Too Many Said-Suicides of Law Enforcement Officer's wives, girlfriends, dates, and ex's"
http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2013/09/too-many-said-suicides-of-law.html






























Thursday, November 21, 2013

Commissioner Gary Rolls - CSC Arrest - Kent County




Also see:
The investigation of Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls began in September 2012, when a woman he had victimized for years courageously stepped forward and said: NO MORE.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2012/09/commissioner-gary-rolls-kent-county.html






Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls faces charges that include criminal sexual conduct, evidence tampering and using a computer to commit a crime. He was arrested November 21, 2013, when he left the commission chambers towards the end of a meeting.












Kent County Commissioner Heading to Federal Court
Thursday, December 05, 2013 5:12 p.m. EST
WHTC Radio
http://whtc.com/news/articles/2013/dec/05/kent-county-commissioner-heading-to-federal-court/


(WHTC) -- A Kent County Commissioner arrested in November and charged with four counts of first-degree criminal-sexual conduct waived a court hearing on Wednesday. The case against 47-year-old Gary Rolls is now headed to federal court. A 28-year-old woman made allegations that Rolls had sexual relations with her beginning when she was nine years old and continued until she was 17. He’s also charged with computer crimes and tampering with evidence. Both are 10 year felonies. Rolls was in Kent County District Court on Wednesday where he waived a probable cause hearing. Rolls is currently free on a 500-thousand dollar bond.














Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls waives court hearing on child sex charges
Barton Deiters
MLive
December 05, 2013 at 8:40 AM
Updated December 05, 2013 at 12:02 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/12/kent_county_commissioner_facin.html


GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, MI – A Kent County Commissioner faces the potential of life in prison after waiving a court hearing that results in his case heading to felony court.
Gary Rolls, 47, is facing four charges of first-degree criminal-sexual conduct stemming from allegations he had sexual relations with a girl starting when she was 9 and continuing until she was 17.
Rolls is also charged with computer crimes and tampering with evidence, both 10-year felonies.
Rolls was in Kent County District Court on Wednesday, Dec. 4, where he waived a probable cause hearing that would have required prosecutors to prove to a judge there is enough evidence to send the case to circuit court.
Rolls is a married father of four and the Republican commissioner representing much of northeast Kent County based in Grattan Township.
The victim, a Muskegon resident, said her relationship began in 1994 when she was 9 years old and included Rolls paying for a Florida vacation and purchases of shoes, purses and jewelry to buy her silence, according to court records.
The allegations came to light last year when the now 28-year-old woman filed for a personal protection order in Muskegon County.
Rolls is free on a $500,000 bond.














Commissioner Charged With Sex Crimes Now Heading For A Possible Trial
December 04, 2013
FOX 17
http://fox17online.com/2013/12/04/commissioner-charged-with-sex-crimes-now-heading-for-a-possible-trial/#axzz2muRtVH77


Kent County, Mich. — Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls of Ada waived his preliminary hearing in court Wednesday, December, 4.
"Within the next 42 days, they`re going to set up your case downtown," Judge Sara J. Smolenski of 63rd District Court.
It was a quick court appearance for Rolls.
Since the hearing was waived, the case will head straight to the circuit court for possible trial without early testimony from witnesses.
He is charged with six counts including: first-degree criminal sexual conduct, evidence tampering and using a computer to commit a crime.
He’s accused of sexually assaulting a woman from the time she was 9 years old until the age of 23.
Michigan State Police also allege that Rolls remotely deleted evidence that may have been contained on his I-Pad as the investigation was ongoing.
Some of the testimony that may come out at trial may include some accusations already discussed during a protection order hearing for the alleged victim.
She testified that Rolls had used threats involving a concealed weapons permit gun to convince her not to tell others about the relationship.
She stated to the courts that Rolls had told her, "If you tell anyone I will take care of you and no one would ever know who did it."
Detective Denise Bentley previously testified that when they searched Rolls’ home, they discovered a number of weapons registered to him, including 19 handguns.
Judge Smolenski reminded Rolls that he was not permitted to have contact with the alleged victim while he is out on bond.
She also clarified that he would be allowed to continue to use his I-Phone for work purposes.
Part of his bond restrictions prohibit him from using computers except when it comes to his job.
Rolls will remain out on bond as the case is now heading to circuit court.
He told a judge during arraignment he would be working to prove his innocence.














Gary Rolls waives hearing on six felony charges
10:11 PM, Dec 4, 2013
WZZM News
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/274794/48/Commissioners-CSC-case-moves-to-circuit-court



GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls has been ordered to stand trial for sexually assaulting a former neighbor in Rockford over several years.

Rolls, 47, appeared in 63rd District Court today, where he waived his preliminary hearing on six felony charges. The case now proceeds to Kent County Circuit Court.

Rolls is charged with six felonies, including first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which authorities say started in July 1994 when the victim was about 10-years-old.

In addition to the sexual assaults, investigators say Rolls took nude photos of the victim about the time she turned 15. Images were taken using a video camera, digital camera and Rolls' cell phone. Rolls kept photos in a safe in his house and on his computer, the victim told state police investigators.

He is also charged with tampering with evidence after investigators say he set up a remote erase of his iPad. If convicted, Rolls faces up to life in prison.

During Wednesday's brief hearing, Judge Sara Smolenski told Rolls he could use his computer and iPhone for business, but could have "absolutely no contact'' with the victim using an electronic device.

Rolls remains free on a $500,000 bond. Rolls, who was elected to the Kent County Board of Commissioners in 2002, won re-election in 2012. His term runs through 2014.

He was arrested Nov. 22 after a meeting of the Kent County Board of Commissioners. His 4th District seat includes Cannon, Grattan and Oakfield townships.













Questions over Rolls' commission duties
Kent Co. Commissioners concerned about absences
By Joe LaFurgey
Updated: Tuesday, November 26, 2013, 6:35 PM EST
Published: Tuesday, November 26, 2013, 4:29 PM EST
WOOD TV News
http://www.woodtv.com/news/local/kent-county/questions-over-rolls-commission-duties







 




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The Kent County Board of Commission's Legislative and Human Resources Committee went on with business one member short Tuesday morning.

Gary Rolls was a no-show.

After missing several meetings late last year after accusations that he had molested a family friend since she was 9 years old went public, Rolls' attendance at County Board meetings had improved.

Before Tuesday, he had missed two meetings. The average commissioner has missed three, according to Board Chairman Dan Koorndyk.

But what if the absences become a pattern?

No one on the county board who spoke to 24 Hour News 8 is directly calling for Rolls' resignation.

"I would say though that any commissioner that has a problem that is going to keep them from attending meetings should think strongly about whether or not they should continue on or whether it's time to resign," District 11 Commissioner Jim Saalfeld said following Tuesday's meeting.

But Oakfield Township Supervisor Greg Dean isn't pulling any punches when it comes to Rolls.

"It is time for him to resign so that we can get somebody in there as our county commissioners that can do the job," Dean said.



Rolls was charged last week with six felony counts connected to the alleged molestation of a now 20-something friend of Rolls' family beginning when she was nine.

The 19-member Kent County Board of Commissioners makes decisions vital to Dean's township. Dean said residents need dependable representation.

"So that we've got a say at what goes on in county government as far as spending our tax dollars," he said. "Last week I had a couple of questions I needed answered, called Gary, he didn't return my call."

There are murmurs that a letter asking for Roll's resignation has been in the works since news of the accusations first broke last fall.

Tuesday, 24 Hour News 8 confirmed supervisors in Oakfield, Vergenes, Grattan and Cannon townships and the City of Lowell -- all part of Rolls' district -- are considering a letter. It would not take the direct approach Dean is suggesting, but would ask Rolls to consider his ability to represent the thousands of people in his district.

"If that means resigning, it mean resigning. If that means not running again, it means not running again," said Cannon Township Supervisor Steve Grimm.

Backers say it is not a judgment on his innocence or guilt.

"We just are concerned that the focus will not be on representation it should be at the county level," Grimm said.

If Rolls' doesn't resign, there's nothing the county board can do. They have no power to remove a sitting member. The voters could remove Roll by way of recall, but that's expensive.

"Gary Rolls should realize that, and not want people to waste the taxpayers dollars," Dean said. "That's why I think resignation is the best way to go."












 




Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls out of jail on multiple sex charges
By John Agar
November 25, 2013 at 10:03 AM
Updated November 25, 2013 at 10:27 AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/11/post_462.html









Rolls, 47, is facing four charges of first-degree criminal-sexual conduct, potential life offenses if he's convicted. Three of the charges involve sex assaults of a child. Another allegedly occurred when the victim was 17.

He’s also accused of using a computer to solicit another to tamper with evidence, and tampering with evidence, both 10-year felonies.

Rolls is a Grattan Township Republican. Police say in court records he had a long relationship with the victim that began in 1994 when she was 9 or 10. She came forward last year at the age of 28. She and Rolls were once neighbors.

He allegedly paid for a Florida vacation and jewelry, shoes and purses to keep her quiet.
She lives in Muskegon. She came forward last year by filing a personal-protection order against him.


Rolls is a married father of four.














 

Kent Co. Commissioner Out of Jail After being Arrested For CSC
FOX 17 News
November 24, 2013
http://fox17online.com/2013/11/24/kent-co-commissioner-out-of-jail-after-being-arrested-for-csc/#axzz2ltl4z89G

KENT COUNTY, Mich- A Kent County commissioner is out of jail Sunday after being arrested on Thursday after a commissioners meeting.

According to Kent County Jail records, Gary Rolls bonded out of the Kent County Jail on Saturday. Rolls faces charges that include criminal sexual conduct, evidence tampering and using a computer to commit a crime. He was arrested Thursday morning when he left the commission chambers towards the end of a meeting.

Allegations first surfaced in late October of 2012 when the woman, then in her late 20′s, tried to get a protection order against Rolls.

Then in late 2012 and early 2013, Rolls was in court fighting that protection order from his alleged victim, who claimed that he had been sexually assaulting her and controlling her since she was around 9 years old until she was 23.

Court documents indicate that many of the official charges stem from when she was between 12 and 16 years old.

Rolls is scheduled back in court for a hearing on December, 4.















 

Commissioner Accused Of CSC, Denied Request For Lower Bond
FOX 17 News
November 22, 2013
http://fox17online.com/2013/11/22/commissioner-accused-of-cscdenied-request-for-lower-bond/#axzz2ltl4z89G

Kent County, Mich. — Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls was arraigned in Kent County Court on four counts of first degree felony criminal sexual conduct and two counts of evidence tampering and using a computer to commit a crime.

Rolls is accused of molesting a Muskegon woman since she was nine years old until the age of 23.

Her attorney said Rolls controlled her through a relationship that included a mixture of threats, gifts and manipulations.

Court documents state she received a protection order against Rolls on September, 26, 2012.

That protection order hearing launched a criminal investigation into Rolls involving the Michigan State Police.

Rolls and his attorney didn’t appear happy with the bond they received in Kent County Court.

The commissioner asked that the judge lower it so that he could get out to create a better defense.

"Your honor. Is it possible to do a percent bond? A bond, something that I could potentially manage so I could work with my attorney to prove my innocence. If I’m incarcerated, I won’t be able to work with him," said Rolls.

Judge Sara Smolenski said, "The court’s decision is to treat you like anybody else who goes through the court process and that is a cash surety bond of that nature."

Rolls is also accused of using a remote command from a different computer to erase evidence from his I-Pad after Michigan State Police began investigating.

Court documents reveal that the evidence they were looking for on the computer that was allegedly erased was pictures of the victim.

Detectives stated, "Gary Rolls started taking nude pictures of her and pictures of her with digital cameras, video cameras, and his cell phone."

"The victim said Rolls kept the photos and videos in a safe in his house and on his computers," they said.

Other physical evidence that we discovered police were searching for to build the case, jewelry.

Investigators stated, "Rolls gave her several gifts of jewelry from Waterfall Jewelers, which was owned by his cousin Mark Ettinger."

"One of these gifts was a ring with a gold band and a blue stone, which was similar or identical to a ring Rolls had purchased for his wife during the same time frame," said detectives.

Although Rolls doesn’t have a record, the judge cited the serious nature of the charges when she gave him the $500,000 bond.

Rolls’ attorney said his client maintains his innocence and said he felt that the bond was high, but failed to respond to the question of whether he wants to lower it at the preliminary hearing.

"It’s an awfully high bond. But, I think the judge made her decision based on the case," Jeffrey O’Hara, defense attorney.

The County Administrator said Rolls’ term on the Kent County Commission runs through December of 2014.

Commissioners cannot vote to remove him from his seat.

If the public wanted to remove him from office, they would have to initiate some sort of recall or Rolls would have to resign.

He will be scheduled back in court for a hearing on December, 4.















Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls arrested for sex crimes against minor
November 22, 2013
The Examiner
http://www.examiner.com/article/kent-county-commissioner-gary-rolls-arrested-for-sex-crimes-against-minor

Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls was arrested on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 on four charges of first degree criminal sexual conduct, one charge of using a computer to commit a crime, and one charge of tampering with evidence. Rolls was arrested after a board meeting and is expected to be arraigned on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 in Kent County District Court.

Allegations of the alleged sexual misconduct were made in 2012, when a woman, who was 28 at that time, came forward accusing Rolls of sexually assaulting her from the age of 9 to 23. The victim made the allegations after Rolls won a Republican primary election.

According to reports, Rolls had set up a credit card account with the victim, which was used to rent motel rooms and buy her gifts. The credit card was also used to purchase a trip to Florida in 2004, in which Rolls took the victim on this trip. The credit card was active between 2000 and 2004. Rolls used the purchases to help silence the victim about the abuse.

A copy of the victim's credit report shows Rolls' address associated with hers. The victim alleges that Rolls asked her for help with his credit problems, which is why he wanted the credit card.

The victim alleges that the initial sexual abuse involved sexual touching and other acts until she turned 17, at which point Rolls wanted to perform sexual intercourse. Rolls also took nude photos and videos of the victim with cameras and a cell phone.

During a search warrant execution, investigators confiscated an ipad, which began self-deleting when examiners tried to access the content. According to a probably cause affidavit, Rolls' wife admits to installing a remote command to cause the device to self-delete.

The Ionia County Prosecutor's Office is handling the case because of conflict of interest with Kent County.















Kent Commissioner arraigned on four rape charges
Submitted by Peter Ross, Senior Reporter
Friday, November 22nd, 2013, 6:45pm
WZZM News
http://adacascade.wzzm13.com/news/news/186173-kent-commissioner-arraigned-four-rape-charges


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.
















$500,000 cash bond set for Commissioner
Kent Co Commissioner Gary Rolls charged Friday
By Joe LaFurgey
Updated: Friday, November 22, 2013, 7:36 PM EST
Published: Friday, November 22, 2013, 5:51 PM EST WOOD TV News http://www.woodtv.com/web/woodtv/news/local/kent-county/500000-cash-bond-set-for-commissioner










GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - A Kent County Commissioner, charged with sexually assaulting an underage girl, had his bond set at $500,000 Friday.

Judge Sara Smolenski set Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls' bond Friday. This means that if he wants to stay out of jail until the case goes to trial, Rolls will have to come up with $500,000 in cash.

Rolls told the judge he's worried about his ability to work with his attorney if he's locked up.

"Your honor, would it be possible to do a percent bond? Would it be possible?" Rolls asked. "Something that I could potentially manage, so that I could work with my attorney to prove my innocence."

The charges Rolls faces include four counts of Criminal Sexual conduct; each carrying up to life in prison on a conviction. This is serious enough to warrant the high bond, according to District Court Judge Sara Smolenski.

The charges stem from accusation by a woman, now in her 20s and once a friends of Roll's children, saying he began molesting her when she was nine.

Allegations outlined in Personal Protection Order Requests by the victim says the abuse continued until she was sixteen, followed by harassing visits and other contact by Rolls.

Other court documents reveal the victim told investigators that he opened credit cards in their names. They took a trip to Florida together and Rolls gave the victim jewelry and other gifts to keep her quiet.

The alleged Sexual Assaults occurring between 1994 and 2000. In 2001, legislators changed the law and eliminated the Statue of Limitation for First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct.

County documents later revealed Dawn Rolls, who is Gary Rolls, Jr.'s wife, told investigators that her husband admitted he set up an erasure program on his iPad as state police investigated the accusations.

Rolls is being held at the Ottawa County Jail because of his ties to Kent County.

Rolls' attorney, Jeffrey O'Hara, told 24 Hour News 8 "It is a high bond but the judge made her decision based on the case. Rolls maintains his complete and absolute innocence."


Depending on how long Rolls stays in jail, it could become a case that might result in an empty seat in the Kent County Board Room.

If Rolls is able to come up with the money for bond, he could attend meetings; although some might question his political effectiveness with several felonies hanging over his head.

There is nothing in the law that would allow county commissioners to fire Rolls even if he is convicted. It appears the governor could remove him from office if that happens.

Rolls is scheduled to be back in court in early December for a preliminary hearing.















Kent County leader vows to 'prove my innocence,' held on $500,000 bond in alleged sexual assaults
By John Agar November 22, 2013 at 5:15 PM
Updated November 22, 2013 at 5:54 PM
MLive
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/11/kent_county_leader_vows_to_pro.html

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls was ordered jailed Friday, Nov. 22, on $500,000 bond for sexual abuse charges that date to 1994.

Rolls appeared stunned by the high bond. He stammered briefly.

"I would respectfully plead with the court to bond … something that I could potentially manage so I could effectively work with my attorney to prove my innocence," he told Grand Rapids Township District Judge Sara Smolenski.

He asked Smolenski to allow him to pay a percentage of his bond for release. She refused.

Rolls, in a green jail smock, was arraigned via video link to the Kent County Correctional Facility where he has been since his arrest Thursday after a Kent County Board of Commissioners’ meeting.

His attorney, Jeffrey O’Hara, said after the hearing: "My client maintains his complete and absolute innocence."

He didn’t want to comment further, but acknowledged, "It’s an awful high bond."

Smolenski said she set bond based on the seriousness of the allegations.

Rolls, 47, is facing four charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, potential life offenses if he's convicted, and using a computer to solicit another to tamper with evidence, and tampering with evidence, both 10-year felonies.

Ionia County Prosecutor Ronald Schafer, who is handling the case because of Rolls’ position as a county leader, authorized the charges.

Rolls, a Grattan Township Republican, is accused of having a long-running sexual relationship that began in 1994 when the alleged victim was 9 or 10.

The alleged victim was 28 when she came forward with the allegations in 2012. Rolls is a former neighbor.

She told police that Rolls sexually assaulted her until she was 23. He allegedly took her on a secret vacation to Florida, and bought her jewelry, shoes and purses to keep her quiet. He allegedly obtained a credit card in both of their names to pay for motel rooms.

The alleged victim, who lives in Muskegon, came forward while Rolls was campaiging for re-election in the Republican primary last year. She filed a personal-protection order against him.

The alleged abuse involved sexual touching and other acts, but Rolls forced her to have sexual intercourse when she was 17, the alleged victim told police. She said Rolls also took nude photos and videos, police said in court records.

Police used a search warrant at Rolls’ home in October 2012 and took his iPad, which automatically began deleting memory when examiners tried to look at its contents.

Rolls lives with his wife and three of their children. A fourth is away at college, court records show.

 















Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls faces sexual assault charges
10:33 AM, November 22, 2013
Detroit Free Press
http://www.freep.com/article/20131122/NEWS06/311220080/

GRAND RAPIDS — Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls, 47, was arrested Thursday morning on multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct.
Rolls faces four counts of CSC in the first degree, one count of using a computer to commit a crime, and one count of tampering with evidence.
The Ionia County Prosecutor is handling the case to remove any conflicts of interest between the Kent County Prosecutor and the Kent County Commission. The Ionia County Prosecutor was appointed by the Attorney General's office to the case.
Rolls was booked at the Kent County Jail just before noon Thursday.
The alleged victim took out a personal protection order against Rolls in September 2012. It expired this past September after she did not extend it.
Court records show the victim claimed abuse started at age 12 and continued until she was an adult. She says sex acts with Rolls occurred at his house, while on vacation in hotel rooms, in a public rest room and on Mackinac Island.
The victim also says Rolls was often controlling in what she would wear and pressured her not to wear bras or underwear.
A Michigan State police detective obtained a search warrant for Rolls’ home and his iPad after Rolls' wife, Dawn, reported that "Gary told her he had set up the remote erase of his iPad,'' according to court documents.
Rolls also obtained a credit card in both their names between 2000 and 2004 to pay for hotel rooms and used his credit card to buy gifts for the victim. "Many of these gifts of jewelry were enticements to prevent her from revealing the sexual abuse,'' the detective wrote in the search warrant affidavit. "Rolls took the victim on a trip to Florida in February 2004 without his wife's knowledge and paid for the airplane tickets with a credit card.''
The woman told investigators Rolls started taking nude photos of her about the time she turned 15. Images were taken using a video camera, digital camera and his cell phone. Rolls kept photos in a safe in his house and on his computer, the woman told state police investigators.
Dan Koorndyk, chairman of the County Board, told WZZM 13 on Thursday: "They're serious charges and we're watching just like anyone else to see what happens... this doesn't remove him from office, the only thing that does is if he would resign, or lose an election."














Gary Rolls faces 1st degree CSC charges
8:31 AM, Nov 22, 2013
WZZM News
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=274074

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls, 47, was arrested Thursday morning on multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Rolls faces four counts of CSC in the 1st degree, one count of using a computer to commit a crime, and one count of tampering with evidence.

The Ionia County Prosecutor is handling the case to remove any conflicts of interest between the Kent County Prosecutor and the Kent County Commission. The Ionia County Prosecutor was appointed by the Attorney General's office to the case.

Rolls was booked at the Kent County Jail just before noon Thursday.

The alleged victim took out a personal protection order against Rolls in September 2012. It expired this past September after she did not extend it.

Court records show the victim claimed abuse started at age 12 and continued until she was an adult. She claims sex acts with Rolls occurred at his house, while on vacation in hotel rooms, in a public restroom, and on Mackinac Island.

The victim also claims Gary was often controlling in what she would wear and pressured her not to wear bras or underwear.

A Michigan State police detective obtained a search warrant for Rolls home and his iPad after Rolls' wife, Dawn, reported that "Gary told her he had set up the remote erase of his iPad,'' according to court documents.

Rolls also obtained a credit card in both their names between 2000 and 2004 in order to pay for hotel rooms and used his credit card to buy gifts for the victim. "Many of these gifts of jewelry were enticements to prevent her from revealing the sexual abuse,'' the detective wrote in the search warrant affidavit. "Rolls took the victim on a trip to Florida in February, 2004 without his wife's knowledge and paid for the airplane tickets with a credit card.''

The woman told investigators Rolls started taking nude photos of her about the time she turned 15 years old. Images were taken using a video camera, digital camera and his cell phone. Rolls kept photos in a safe in his house and on his computer, the woman told state police investigators.

Dan Koorndyk, chairman of the County Board, told WZZM 13 Thursday:"They're serious charges and we're watching just like anyone else to see what happens... this doesn't remove him from office, the only thing that does is if he would resign, or lose an election."















Kent Co. Commissioner Taken from Meeting in Handcuffs
FOX 17 News
November 21, 2013
http://fox17online.com/2013/11/26/commissioner-taken-from-meeting-in-handcuffs/#axzz2ltl4z89G

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — New video was released Tuesday of Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls being taken from a meeting in handcuffs.

Rolls faces charges that include criminal sexual conduct, evidence tampering and using a computer to commit a crime. He was arrested Thursday morning when he left the commission chambers towards the end of a meeting.

Allegations first surfaced in late October of 2012 when the woman, then in her late 20s, tried to get a protection order against Rolls.

Then in late 2012 and early 2013, Rolls was in court fighting that protection order from his alleged victim, who claimed that he had been sexually assaulting her and controlling her since she was around 9 years old until she was 23.















 

Charges Authorized Against Kent County Commissioner
FOX 17 News
November 21, 2013
http://fox17online.com/2013/11/21/kent-county-commissioner-jailed-on-criminal-sexual-conduct-charges/#axzz2ltl4z89G

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A warrant has been authorized against Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls for criminal sexual conduct charges.

A source told FOX 17 News Thursday morning that Rolls will be formally charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct. He is suspected of sexually assaulting a woman when she was a child.

As of 11:00am Thursday morning, he was being processed in the Kent County Jail. FOX 17 spoke with Ionia County Prosecutor Ronald Schafer. He said he was asked to come to Kent County as special counsel because there was a conflict of interest with the Kent County prosecutor’s office.

Since the investigation, which came to light in September of 2012, Rolls had been known to miss a meeting, or several. His attendance history has been pretty spotty the past seven months.

FOX 17 discovered he’d missed six meetings dating back to last September 27th  through January 3rd of 2013. It was back in September 2012 when a 28-year-old woman requested a protection order against Rolls for abuse she claims began when she was 12 years old.

In a previous interview, Kent County commissioner Jim Saalfeld told FOX 17 he believed Rolls’ absences might have been due to his legal issues.

"I think the citizens have the right to understand what that means and I think they also have the right to expect their elected commissioner to be at a meeting," said Saalfeld.

At Thursday’s Kent County Commissioners meeting, Rolls was there, but he showed up late after roll call. He actively listened to discussions from fellow commissioners, but remained quiet, not saying a word. And, as soon as the meeting wrapped up, he split, without a chance for FOX 17 to speak to him.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners office confirmed Rolls has been at every meeting, including the sub committee he sits on, which is the Legislative & Human Resources board, since our investigation, except for that January 3rd session.

Michigan State Police is continuing their investigation into the sexual assault.















Gary Rolls allegedly purchased secret Florida trip, motel visits with sex assault victim
By Angie Jackson
November 21, 2013 at 5:06 PM
Updated November 21, 2013 at 8:01 PM
MLive
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/11/gary_rolls_allegedly_purchased.html


GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls allegedly held a separate credit account with the woman he is accused of sexually assaulting for 13 years so he could purchase a secret trip to Florida for two of them, motel rooms and gifts, according to court documents.

Rolls, 47, was arrested Thursday, Nov. 21, after a board meeting at the county offices in Grand Rapids. He is in jail and is expected to be arraigned Friday in Kent County District Court on four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, using a computer to commit a crime and tampering with evidence.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison if the Grattan Township Republican is convicted. Ionia County Prosecutor Ronald Schafer is handling the case for the state and announced the filing of the charges on Thursday.

The victim, who was 28 when she came forward to authorities in 2012, told police Rolls is her former neighbor. The Muskegon area woman alleged Rolls sexually assaulted her beginning when she was nine or 10 years old, and the misconduct continued until she was 23, court documents state.

The victim said Rolls took her on a trip to Florida in February 2004 without his wife's knowledge.

Rolls obtained a credit card with the victim between 2000 and 2004, using it to pay for hotel and motel rooms they used during the alleged assaults, according to a search warrant documents. He purchased jewelry, shoes and purses for the victim to prevent her from revealing the sexual abuse, documents state.

A copy of the victim's credit report indicated that hers and Rolls' addresses were associated. Rolls allegedly told the victim he needed her assistance with the credit card to help with his own credit problems, according to court documents.

The victim came forward to authorities soon after Rolls won a Republican primary election in 2012. She filed a personal protection order against him.

The woman told police that the abuse consisted of sexual touching and other acts until she was 17, when Rolls forced her to include intercourse to their interactions, documents state.

Rolls allegedly took nude photos and videos of the victim using digital and video cameras and a cell phone.

Police executed a search warrant on Rolls' home in October 2012 and confiscated his iPad, which began automatically deleting its memory when examiners tried to access its content, search warrant documents state. Police believe the device was given a remote command to scrub its memory.

Rolls' wife told police that he told her he set up the remote command to erase the iPad, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Rolls' term runs through 2014. He will remain in office through the end of his term unless he resigns or gets recalled, county election officials said.















Kent County commissioner in jail awaiting arraignment on criminal sexual conduct charges
By Barton Deiters
November 21, 2013 at 4:19 PM
Updated November 21, 2013 at 5:44 PM
MLive
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/11/kent_county_commissioner_in_ja.html


UPDATE: Gary Rolls allegedly purchased secret Florida trip, motel visits with sex assault victim

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Gary Lynn Rolls sits in the jail he was elected to help oversee as a member of the Kent County Board of Commissioners.

Rolls, 47, awaits arraignment on Friday, Nov. 22, in Kent County District Court on four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, using a computer to commit a crime and tampering with evidence.

Rolls was arrested by state police Thursday morning at the Kent County Building in downtown Grand Rapids where he was attending a meeting.

Ionia County Prosecutor Ronald Schafer, handling the case for the state, on Thursday announced the filing of the charges that carry a maximum penalty of life in prison if the Grattan Township Republican is convicted.

A 28-year-old Muskegon County woman alleges Rolls began molesting her when she was 9 years old and began having sex with her at the age of 13.

The detailed allegations came to light a week after Rolls won an August 2012 primary election and later won re-election to his board seat that November. The alleged victim made accusations of prolonged sexual assaults during a Muskegon County Circuit Court hearing regarding a personal protection order the woman had taken out against Rolls.

The woman’s allegations led police to seek a felony arrest warrant against Rolls and also a warrant to search his house.

Police searched Rolls’ home and business and allegedly seized computers, an iPad, disks, papers and other items.

Rolls has also been charged with tampering with evidence in alleged attempt to destroy some items sought by law enforcement. Police allege that a remote command was given to Rolls’ iPad to erase information after it was seized by police.

The woman says the abuse continued with threats until she was 26 and included instances of Rolls burning her with a car cigarette lighter and showing her pictures of female genital mutilation.

Rolls attorney John Karafa of Muskegon was not immediately available for comment but has dismissed the woman’s allegations as "highly suspect" and "categorically denied as untrue."
Rolls has missed numerous County Commission meetings, but he remains a commissioner and a member of the board’s Finance and Physical Resources Committee which is charged with overseeing the operation of the Kent County Jail.

Rolls represents the city of Lowell and the townships of northeast Kent County.















How Gary Rolls arrest went down: Kent County colleague calls it 'dignified'
By Matt Vande Bunte
November 21, 2013 at 3:29 PM
Updated November 21, 2013 at 5:30 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/11/how_gary_rolls_arrest_went_dow.html



GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls was taken into custody "in a dignified way" after a board meeting Thursday morning, according to a colleague.

Commissioner Tom Antor, R-Sparta, said he noticed state police at county offices in Grand Rapids when he left the meeting to use the restroom.

"I ascertained they were there to pick up Gary," said Antor, a former police officer with Sparta and Grand Rapids Public Schools. "I asked them if they could do it in a dignified way, and they did."

Antor said he walked Rolls, 47, out of the meeting and watched as Rolls was approached by the officers outside the chamber, taken to a side room and then taken away.

"It kind of caught everybody off guard," Antor said. "My heart goes out to his family. I'm hoping he's innocent. I'm hoping he has his day in court."

Rolls, R-Grattan Township, is being charged with four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, using a computer to commit a crime and tampering with evidence.

Allegations of the sexual misconduct came to light in 2012 – after Rolls won a Republican primary election – when a 28-year-old Muskegon-area woman claimed Rolls had sexually assaulted her for years, with sexual touching beginning at age 9.

Rolls' attorney previously has said the allegations are untrue.

Ionia County Prosecutor Ron Schafer has been appointed to handle the case because of a potential conflict with Kent County prosecutors.

"Whether he's guilty or not you feel badly for his family," said County Commissioner Jim Talen, D-Grand Rapids. "They are going to go through a very difficult time. Nobody wants that for anybody."

Rolls in November 2012 got two-thirds of the vote to win re-election to the county board representing Lowell and Cannon, Grattan, Oakfield and Vergennes townships. That term runs through 2014.

County elections officials said there’s nothing that forces Rolls to be removed from office even if he cannot attend board meetings.

"He’s an elected commissioner until he resigns, is recalled or loses an election," County Administrator Daryl Delabbio said.

Former Kent County Commissioner Jim Vaughn was in office in 2009 when he was convicted on misdemeanor assault and domestic violence charges. He lost his re-election bid in the 2010 Democratic primary.















 

Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls arrested outside meeting, to be charged with sex assault
By John Tunison
November 21, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Updated November 21, 2013 at 5:12 PM
MLive
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/11/kent_county_commission_gary_ro.html#incart_river_default


GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls was arrested Thursday, Nov. 21 outside a county meeting and is expected to be charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct involving a Muskegon area woman, authorities said.

Ionia County Prosecutor Ron Schafer, appointed to handle the case because of a potential conflict with Kent County prosecutors, issued a statement Thursday about the charges.

Rolls, of Grattan Township, is being charged with four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, using a computer to commit a crime and tampering with evidence.

Allegations of the sexual misconduct came to light in 2012 when a 28-year-old woman came forward to claim Rolls had sexually assaulted her for years, with sexual touching beginning at age 9.

Rolls was re-elected to the Kent County Board of Commissioners in November 2012.

Rolls' attorney earlier said the allegations were untrue.















 

Kent County Commissioner Rolls arrested
Gary Rolls, Jr. facing sexual assault charges
By Joe LaFurgey
Published: Thursday, November 21, 2013, 11:05 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, November 21, 2013, 6:42 PM EST
WOOD TV News
http://www.woodtv.com/news/kent-county/kent-co-commissioner-gary-rolls-arrested


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Embattled Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls, Jr., accused in a personal protection order of harassing and sexually assaulting a Muskegon-area woman for years, was arrested by Michigan State Police Thursday morning.

The Grattan Township Republican was reportedly picked up during a meeting at the Kent County building in downtown Grand Rapids.

The Ionia County Prosecutor's Office, appointed by the Michigan Attorney General's Office as a special prosecutor to handle the case because of Rolls, Jr.'s ties to Kent County, issued a six-count criminal complaint against him.

The complaint included four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which could result in up to life in prison for Rolls, Jr., if convicted.

Rolls, Jr. was also charged with using a computer to commit a crime, and tampering with evidence.

The accusation of sexual assault went on for several years, but it was unclear if the statute of limitations had run out on the case.

County documents later revealed Dawn Rolls, who is Gary Rolls, Jr.'s wife, told investigators that her husband admitted he set up an erasure program on his iPad as state police investigated the accusations.