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Former Muskegon Heights school employee accused of sexual acts with a student

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Zolton Vines arraignment.png
Posted at 7:42 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 18:22:53-04

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. — A former employee of the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy system is facing charges of having sexual contact with a teenager.

Police in Muskegon Heights arrested 31-year-old Zolton Vines Thursday on a charge of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree.

They said in a press release that they learned on Wednesday of possible inappropriate sexual behavior involving “a faculty member and a student at the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy”.

Muskegon County Assistant Prosecutor Tim Maat tells FOX 17 that Vines is accused of engaging in sexual abuse of a girl, who was 15-years-old when the incident occurred.

Vines is listed on a 2018 staff directory as working security for the district.

Team rosters online also indicate he was previously a coach for a Muskegon Heights JV basketball team.

Assistant Prosecutor Maat says it is not yet known if the student victim attended the same school in which Vine was working at the time of the incident.

He says she no longer attends school in the district.

Vines appeared in a Muskegon County courtroom on Friday via a live video feed to be arraigned on the charge.

“This is not who I am. I’m not that type of person,” Vines said during the arraignment. “I don’t want to do any time. I ain’t never been through this before in my life. I’ve already had a breakdown.”

Vines was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. His bond was set at $100,000 cash/surety.

According to, Vines was the head coach for the junior varsity basketball team this past school year.

FOX 17 spoke with Zolton’s father, Leonard, ahead of the arraignment. He says his son did not behave inappropriately around the 15-year-old, claiming the video make the rounds on social media was digitally manipulated to make Zolton appear he was doing something he wasn’t.

“They already got that straightened out at the school system,” Leonard explains. “They all know he’s just a nice person.”

Leonard also confirms Zolton was a JV basketball coach as well as a track coach and equipment manager in addition to working security for the school.

Zolton remains locked up in the Muskegon County Jail.

Investigators ask anyone with information about other possible victims to contact the Muskegon Heights Police Department Detective Bureau at (231) 733-8900.

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