Former prosecutor charged with sex offense

Posted at 2:10 PM, Jul 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-16 22:22:18-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Former Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Mark Vandermolen, 61, is charged with assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct involving penetration and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct using force or coercion.

Vandermolen told Judge Jeanine LaVille that he will be representing himself and said he "never engaged in any behavior that would endanger anyone" before these charges.

The punishment for the assault charge is up to ten years behind bars, then punishment for the fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charge is up to two years behind bars and a $500 fine.

As FOX 17 has reported, Vandermolen was booked into Kent County Jail on Tuesday July 15.

According to the probable cause hearing Wednesday morning in court, a detective said Vandermolen met the victim, who recently moved from Iran, at a swing dancing event last week in downtown Grand Rapids. The two exchanged numbers, but she told Vandermolen she “just wanted to be friends.”

The detective stated that Vandermolen then called her later last week to ask her to dinner; the victim agreed but reiterated she would go “only as friends.” After dinner, the victim said Vandermolen persuaded her to go to his home to watch a movie. According to the victim, Vandermolen tried to take her clothes off, got on top of her, then kissed her until she pushed him away and demanded he take her home.

Then on Monday July 14, the victim called Vandermolen and recorded the conversation and confronted him about the matter. In that conversation Vandermolen said “there was no doubt what was going to happen next if (she) didn’t push him off,” and apologized. He also told her that he hadn’t been with a woman in a while and his actions were “reflex.”

Vandermolen retired from the Kent County prosecutor’s office in December 2010. Currently, the Michigan State Bar website states Vandermolen is a private practice attorney in Grand Rapids who is “active and in good standing” as of January 2014.

Bond was set at $10,000 and the judge said Vandermolen is to have no contact with the victim at this time. The Preliminary Hearing for Vandermolen is set for July 31 at 9:30 A.M. at the Kent County 61st District Court.