KENT COUNTY, Mich. — A Kent County commissioner was arrested Thursday, and faces six charges for sex crimes spanning more than a decade.
Gary 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.
He was likely in the backroom or hallway when officers escorted him away and was not in view of those attending the morning 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.
Investigators accuse him of forcing the alleged victim to have oral sex with him, ”On multiple occasions with him in the city of Rockford.”
The victim’s attorney, Daniel Bonner, tells FOX 17 he was pleased with the arrest because he felt that Rolls had taken her childhood from her.
“She is very fragile and this has just been a devastating experience for her,” he said.
Bonner wasn’t sure if criminal charges would ever be filed because the investigation took so long. He said it took around 53 weeks, or just over a year.
That may have been because Rolls is accused of erasing evidence from his iPad during the course of that investigation. Court documents say his wife Dawn, “reported that Gary told her he had set up the remote erase of his iPad.”
After those allegations of sexual abuse first surfaced, Gary Rolls had been absent from a lot of public meetings. As FOX reported early this year, Rolls had been absent six times between July 2012 and January of this year.
Since we ran that report, the County Clerk’s Office said Rolls attended every full meeting from at least March through November.
County Administrator Daryl Delabbio did not see the arrest while he was at Thursday’s meeting.
According to him,, the board cannot remove Rolls from his seat as he goes through the legal process.
He said the voters might be able to do a recall, but they can’t unseat an elected official even if he misses a large number of meetings because he’s in jail.
Rolls’ term is up in December of 2014. He will likely be arraigned Friday.