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Bonds set in rape, shooting arrests

Bonds were set Wednesday for a Crawford County firefighter accused of rape and the father of the alleged victim who was arrested for shooting at the man accused in the assault and six others.

James Edward Sullivent III, 34, of Alma was arrested Monday for the rape of an 18-year-old girl at the District 6 Volunteer Fire Department on Pleasant Valley Road.

Also Monday, Terry Needham Jr., 48, of Van Buren was jailed on suspicion of seven counts of aggravated assault.

Crawford County Circuit Court Judge Gary R. Cottrell ruled there was enough evidence to hold both Sullivent and Needham. Cottrell set Sullivent’s bond at $25,000; Needham’s at $15,000. Neither of the men is to have contact with families involved in the incidents, the judge ordered.

The public defender’s office was appointed to represent Needham. Sullivent said he planned to hire a private attorney. An inquiry as to counsel was set for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The alleged rape victim claims Sullivent assaulted her about 11:30 a.m. Monday in a second-floor office at the volunteer fire department, according to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott Houston.

“He kept her in a locked room and would not let her leave,” Houston told the judge Wednesday.

After the alleged victim told her father, Houston said Needham went to a residence off Mountain Grove Road near Alma where Sullivent was around 6:30 p.m. Six other people were at the home of Sullivent’s girlfriend, including Sullivent’s father, Jim Sullivent Jr., chief of the District Six Fire Department.

Houston said Needham fired several rounds. One hit the house and another struck the driver’s side of a vehicle in which one person was sitting,

Needham was arrested at his residence east of Alma. He told arresting officers he had fired the shots into the air.

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