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.