Cullman County GOP committee member removed from post after arrest for sexual abuse of a minor

CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Investigators have arrested 74-year-old James Donald Graves and charged him with sexual abuse after the victim came forward, the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office says.

According to a local GOP chairman, Graves was an elected member of the Cullman County Republican Party serving on the committee, and previously served as the Chairman of the Cullman County Commision from 2008-2012. After the allegations surfaced, he was removed from his position as a committee member.

Investigators reportedly discovered that Graves had sexually molested a minor more than once after the minor came forward about the abuse.

According to the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office, Graves sexually molested the minor on more than one occasion; the victim reported the abuse after the last incident, where they were made to perform a sexual act on the suspect.

Graves reportedly confirmed the allegations during an interview with investigators. Shortly after, they obtained a warrant for his arrest.

“Mr. Graves confirmed the allegations and after the interview there was no doubt a sexual crime had been committed by the suspect,” Sheriff Matt Gentry said in a press release.

Graves is charged with sexual abuse in the first degree, a felony.

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 being held in the Cullman County Detention Center on a $15,000 cash bond.

Cullman County Attorney J. Chad Floyd says Graves retired after being employed with Cullman County on Dec. 31 of 2006.

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