Lolley makes bail in child sex abuse case

Kenneth Gordon Lolley has made bail and has been released from the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility in The Dalles where he has been held for the past three months on first-degree sexual abuse charges.

Lolley, 73, who lives at 1640 16th St. in Hood River, was originally arrested back in December 2013 on multiple first-degree sexual abuse cases after allegedly touching “sensitive or intimate areas” of three girls aged 8, 10, and 11. He is currently facing 14 counts of first-degree sexual abuse.

Lolley was released from jail Feb. 14 after posting $40,000 bail, but is subject to court-ordered house arrest via electronic home monitoring, which he is required to pay for.

Bail in the case was previously set at $300,000, which Lolley’s attorney, Brian Starns, argued was “constitutionally invalid.”

“It is our specific position that the amount of bail that is being requested and has been ordered in this case is constitutionally invalid in the sense that it is completely unreachable,” Starns told the court in a Feb. 12 appearance. “It is an amount that he absolutely cannot reach and there are other ways we can secure both the concerns for the safety and for reappearance.”

Starns added that Lolley and his wife, Verna, did not have the “financial wherewithal” to make bail. He said it was his understanding that the couple’s business, KV Pottery, located at 1082A Tucker Road on the Heights, had closed since Lolley’s arrest. Starns also argued that Lolley was not a flight risk, had lived in the Gorge for over 50 years and has many ties with the community. Lolley taught pottery classes to both children and adults at his studio.

“He’s not going anywhere,” Starns said. “He’s aware of the charges.”

Deputy District Attorney Carrie Rasmussen argued vigorously against Lolley’s release.

“Mr. Starns says [Lolley] has contacts with the community,” Rasmussen said. “The state would argue he has used his position and his contacts with the community in order to facilitate these crimes.”

Rasmussen added Lolley had a 1989 conviction for public indecency after exposing himself to two underage girls as they walked by his house on their way to school.

“[Lolley] would time it so when they walked by his house in the morning, he’d come out of his garage in what I believe was a robe, and basically flash his genitalia at them,” Rasmussen told the court. “And so he has at least a long-term interest in children of this age and I do think that represents a danger to the community.”

Rasmussen also read a statement from one of the alleged victim’s parents, requesting that the court not release Lolley from jail.

“He presents himself very likeable, especially towards kids, but there is a child abuser inside of him. Please don’t release,” Rasmussen read.

The hearing was continued to Feb. 13 so that all the parents of the alleged victims could have an opportunity to address the court.

One parent told the court that “the effects on the children go on long after the effects of what have occurred.” She requested Lolley remain in jail.

Another parent said her daughter is “upset that she trusted somebody, you know, and that he would do these things.”

Rasmussen also alleged that Verna Lolley may have been aware of her husband’s actions, noting that “law enforcement learned about one of the victims from a phone call that the defendant had with his own wife, which indicates some knowledge or awareness on her part that there would be yet another female that would be a victim of her husband.”

Starns disagreed.

“I have no reason to believe, that Ms. Lolley, in any capacity, would have knowledge of something like this, if it in fact happened, and fail to act on that knowledge,” he said.

Rasmussen said that in light of the 1989 crime being committed at Lolley’s home, she felt that “Mr. Lolley presents a danger to the community at home, even under electronic monitoring.”

Crowley announced at the conclusion of the hearing he would be setting bail at $40,000 and imposing house arrest on Lolley, as well as prohibiting him from having contact with children under the age of 18.

“I consider that a mortgage-type of bail, because what I’m looking at is a guy of a certain age who’s looking at a substantial amount of time in prison if he’s convicted,” Crowley explained.

Lolley’s next court date is scheduled for Wednesday March 12, at 11 a.m., for a possible entry of plea.

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