In early July, former Kent County Prosecutor Mark Richard Vandermolen was accused of groping and sexually assaulting a woman after she met him at a downtown dancing event and went back to his home with him. Vandermolen is 61, the alleged victim 41.
According to police, the woman said that she was not interested in a sexual relationship, however Vandermolen allegedly groped her, kissed her breasts, and exposed her private areas as she fought to push him off. Police said that Vandermolen granted her request, and that they recorded a phone call in which the former county prosecutor apologized for his behavior, explaining to the victim that he had not been with a woman in a long time.
Vandermolen had initially decided he would represent himself in court, but has since changed his mind. He has since hired a criminal defense lawyer to represent him against charges of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Vandermolen served more than 10 years in the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office, and is facing up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the charges against him.
News reports claim that the woman was from Iran, and had only recently come to the West Michigan area. Vandermolen allegedly began kissing her neck which progressed to more serious conduct as the two were watching television at his home.
The former Kent County prosecutor pleaded not guilty. The next hearing is scheduled for August 26.
Michigan sex crime attorneys know the serious consequences individuals face when accused of sexual assault, rape, and other sex crimes. While Vandermolen pleaded not guilty, will the recorded phone conversation between himself and the victim in which he was apologizing be detrimental to his case? It will be interesting to see how this case is resolved.
10 years in prison is a very long time when a defendant is found guilty. However, in the case of first-degree criminal sexual conduct a defendant may be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty. In addition, many offenders are required to register as sex offenders, a fact that seriously affects many areas of their lives including employment, housing, and their reputation in the community.
If you have been accused of a sex crime or arrested, do not hesitate before consulting with a seasoned Michigan sex crimes lawyer.