CULLMAN COUNTY - Former Cullman County Commission Chairman James Donald Graves, 74, of Vinemont, has been arrested and charged with first-degree sexual abuse after allegedly molesting a minor. The charge is a felony.
Graves was elected Chairman of the Cullman County Commission in 2008 and served until he was defeated by current Chairman Kenneth Walker in 2012.
According the Cullman County Sheriff's Office (CCSO), Graves allegedly sexually molested the minor on more than one occasion. A statement from the CCSO said the victim came forward after the last incident took place, in which the suspect forced the victim to perform a sexual act.
When Graves was interviewed by investigators, he allegedly confirmed the allegations were true. The CCSO says that following that interview, "there was no doubt a sexual crime had been committed by the suspect."
Due to the graphic nature of this crime, no further details are being released by the CCSO.
“The protection of our young people is one of our most important responsibilities as law enforcement officers. As soon as the victim came forward our investigators interviewed the suspect and we obtained a warrant after consulting with the DA’s office due to the evidence being so overwhelming against the suspect,” said Sheriff Matt Gentry. “I would like to thank our investigators for their prompt and immediate work in this case."
Graves is currently being held in the Cullman County Detention Center on a $15,000 cash bond.
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