James Graves

Former Cullman County Commission Chairman James Graves

David Palmer

dpalmer@cullmantimes.com

Former Cullman County Commission Chairman James Graves was charged Wednesday morning with sexual abuse, according to the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office.

Graves, 74, of Vinemont, is charged with sexually molesting a minor on more than one occasion. A news release from the Sheriff’s Office stated the alleged victim came forward after the last incident where the suspect is accused of making the minor perform a sexual act.

After an investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, it was alleged that Graves had sexually molested the minor on more than one occasion. The victim came forward after the last incident took place where the suspect made the victim preform a sexual act. Graves, was interviewed by CCSO investigators at the Sheriff’s Office where he confirmed the allegations. At that point CCSO investigators contacted the Cullman County District Attorney’s Office and obtained a warrant of arrest for first degree sexual abuse, which is a felony, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Due to the graphic nature of this crime, CCSO said it will not be releasing additional details.

Graves was elected as chairman of the Cullman County Commission in 2008. He had served as a county employee before winning election to the seat. He was defeated in a re-election bid and again sought re-election but failed in the last election.

“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,” Sheriff Matt Gentry said. “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 with a $15,000 cash bond.

David Palmer may be contacted at 256-734-2131, ext. 116.

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