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Woman says former Elyria councilman groped her

  • Mark-F-Craig-jpg

    Mark F. Craig



VERMILION — Former Elyria City Councilman Mark Craig has been charged with sexual imposition for allegedly groping a guest at his home during a housewarming party in September.

Craig, 49, who resigned in July after 10 years on Council to move to Vermilion, faces three third-degree misdemeanor counts of sexual imposition, according to Vermilion Municipal Court records.

The charges stem from an alleged incident that took place at a Flint Drive home Sept. 17, during a housewarming party, according to police.

A woman at the party told police Craig “repeated groped her,” grabbing her buttocks, vaginal area, breast and pulling her hair, a police report said. The woman said that during a tour of the home, Craig “purposely made sure that she and him were the last ones to leave each room and when no one was looking Craig would grab her butt and hair numerous times.”

Another witness told police she witnessed Craig reach down the alleged victim’s shirt during the party.

The alleged victim told police that she had been drinking at the party, but stopped drinking “in fear that Craig may have ‘put something’ in her drink,” the police report said. The woman alleged Craig got more forceful as the evening went on.

At one point, the woman said she was in the basement, sitting on the floor, when Craig “came up behind her and wrapped himself around her, putting all his weight against her.” The woman told police “Craig had his arms wrapped around her breast,” the report said.

Craig later turned the lights off in the basement and she began to leave, but “Craig grabbed her by the jacket and numerous times attempted to pull her into an unfinished section of the basement,” the report said. The woman was able to pull away from Craig, but “she feared what would have happened if Craig pulled her into the room.”

A witness told police that she witnessed Craig groping the alleged victim, but the witness told police she was “very intoxicated” at the party.

Another person at the party that had not been drinking told police she didn’t remember seeing “any behavior that might be something that the police might be looking into,” the police report said.

When the alleged victim attempted to confront Craig about her allegations in a recorded phone call at the Vermilion Police Department, Craig said, “I’m sorry, I don’t remember any of that,” the report said.

He also told the woman, “Good Lord. I don’t remember any of that. I’m sorry if that happened, but…,” the report said. Craig also told the woman he has no recollection of anything he was being accused of, and that he also had a lot to drink that night.

“If I did any of that, then I’m sorry because the last thing I want is for you to be uncomfortable,” he said, according to the report. “I hope that you can get past that and try to heal.”

Craig did not return calls from The Chronicle-Telegram requesting comment about the alleged incident Friday.

Police charged Craig on Tuesday, and he made his initial appearance in court on the matter Thursday, according to court records. He’s next scheduled to appear in Vermilion Municipal Court on Jan. 8.

Contact Scott Mahoney at (440) 329-7146 or Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.

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