Former Cascade firefighter allegedly wanted to flee country with teenager

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Clem Bell, courtesy Kent County.

Clem Bell, courtesy Kent County.

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — A former firefighter from Cascade Township who was allegedly sexually active with a teenage girl is said to have wanted to flee the country with her.

Clem Bell, 51, was in court Wednesday for a probable cause hearing. Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson is acting as a special prosecutor in the case.

Bell allegedly engaged in sexual activities with a 16-year-old girl, which included exchanging lewd photographs. She was previously a member of his department’s firefighter Explorer program. He’s known her since April 2016.

During text conversations with the girl, Bell allegedly said that he wanted to leave the country with her and that he was in a “depressed state.”

Hilson told the judge that Bell allegedly also said to the teen that he’s killed someone before, likely in an effort to intimidate her.

Bell’s defense attorney called the $500,000 bond “excessive,” however the judge said he was concerned that he wouldn’t show up at future hearings. He denied the request to lower the bond.

The defense said the relationship between the two was “inappropriate, but not unlawful,” and consensual.

Bell, who is married with two children, was arrested earlier in January after investigators found child porn on his computer at a fire station in December. He resigned from the fire department after the investigation began.


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