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Bond set at $1.25 million for former Avon Lake fire chief accused of rape, sexual battery

October 5, 2018

Bond set at $1.25 million for former Avon Lake fire chief accused of rape, sexual battery

ELYRIA, Ohio -- A judge set bond at $1.25 million for a former Avon Lake fire chief charged with rape and sexual battery, court records show.

Lawrence Grizzell, 59, was arrested Monday afternoon at his Elyria home after police received a complaint Sunday alleging that he had committed a sexual offense against someone he knew.

During his interview with detectives, Grizzell made admissions regarding the suspected offenses, according to Elyria police. 

Grizzell faces a first-degree felony charge of rape and a third-degree felony charge of sexual battery. White set his bond at a hearing held Friday for the rape charge at $750,000, and $500,000 for the sexual battery charge, according to court records.

Elyria Municipal Court Judge Robert C. White revoked Grizzell’s telephone privileges -- with exceptions for clergy and his attorneys -- while he remains at the Lorain County Jail.

Grizzell was hired as a firefighter for the Avon Lake Fire Department in September 1991, according to an spokeswoman from the city.

Grizzell was promoted to lieutenant in July 1997 and began serving as interim chief in September 2001, officially taking on the role of chief in 2002. He served as fire chief through the end of 2005, after which he continued to work as a lieutenant. He retired in 2015 after 24 years of service. 

Grizzell’s preliminary hearing is set for Thursday at 2 p.m.

To comment on this story, visit Friday’s crime and courts comment section. 

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