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Man sentenced for having sex with ARC client

February 01, 2002

Man sentenced for having sex with ARC client



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI
kimy@herald-mail.com


A former job coach at the Washington County Association for Retarded Citizens who had sex with a client of the agency told a Washington County Circuit judge Thursday that the relations were consensual.

"I was not imposing my will. It was mutual," said Charles Ronald Bolden, 53.

Bolden of 16827 Petmar Circle, pleaded guilty in October 2001 to abuse of a vulnerable adult. The woman, who was a WCARC client, has cerebral palsy.

On Thursday, Judge John H. McDowell sentenced Bolden to one year in jail and to three years of supervised probation. McDowell also ordered hin to have no further contact with vulnerable adults.

Bolden was employed as a job coach with the Washington County Association for Retarded Citizens and was overseeing a group of clients working at Greenbrier State Park on June 8, 2000, said Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Gina Cirincion.

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The victim, then 23, told WCARC staff that Bolden had sex with her in a closet at Greenbrier State Park and in a WCARC van on the same day.

Standing with his head down and his hands clasped together, Bolden thanked his wife for supporting him.

A woman, whom court officials identified as Bolden's wife, shook her head and grimaced as the judge lectured her husband.

Defense attorney Chris Gelwicks disputed a mental evaluation of the victim, stating that her mental capacity was closer to 15 years old than 10 years old.

Either way, Bolden "betrayed her trust," said McDowell. The victim suffers from nightmares about the incident, he said.

"We're not saying she wasn't vulnerable but he believes it was a consensual act," said Gelwicks.

Allegations of the abuse came out when WCARC staff noticed the woman was upset and asked her if there was a problem, court records said. She told the staff that Bolden told her not to say anything about the incidents.

Bolden resigned from his job at WCARC within a week of the complaint being filed.

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