In November we wrote about Gary Rolls, former Kent County Commissioner accused of having sex with a 9-year-old girl which began in 1994 and continued on for several years. Last week Rolls rejected a plea deal from prosecutors in which three charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct would have been dismissed in exchange for Rolls’ guilty plea to one count of first-degree CSC, tampering with evidence, and illegal use of a computer.
Rolls, who is 47 years old, will now face trial before Judge Dennis Leiber, according to defense attorney Jeffrey O’Hara. The alleged victim is now 28 years old; she claims that Rolls bought her silence by paying for jewelry, purses, shoes, a Florida vacation, and other purchases. The accusations against Rolls first came to light in 2013 when the alleged victim filed for a personal protection order.
Rolls resigned his position as the Republican commissioner in December of last year, and represented the majority of Northeast Kent County. He said that he would use the time following his resignation to prepare for trial and prove his “absolute and complete” innocence. The alleged victim came forward last year as Rolls was campaigning for re-election in the Republican primary.
Rolls is a married father of four children, and currently remains free on a $500,000 bond.
Defendants who accept plea agreements from the prosecutor typically face less harsh punishment than those who go to trial and are found guilty. However, it is understandable that an innocent person would want to prove his or her innocence by going to trial. Those charged with first-degree CSC or any sex offense should consult with a skilled Michigan sex crime attorney who will offer the guidance and support essential to a good outcome.
Being convicted of a sex offense will have a lasting impact on a person’s life. A criminal record and possibly the requirement to register as a sex offender can affect employment and your reputation. You may also spend any number of years up to life in prison, depending on the specific offense and circumstances of your case. Speak with a capable and aggressive defense lawyer immediately to mitigate the damage.