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Cops and Courts

Former Avon Lake fire chief pleads guilty to multiple sex charges

Police said Larry Grizzell made admissions regarding the offenses.

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    Larry Grizzell

    Bruce Bishop / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA — A former Avon Lake fire chief has pleaded guilty to charges of rape, sexual battery and gross sexual imposition that were part of a 24-count indictment.

Larry Grizzell, 60, of Elyria, entered the plea Friday before Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Chris Cook.

An investigation by Elyria detectives found that Grizzell had sexually assaulted a family member, police have said. As a result of the investigation, detectives signed warrants against him.

Grizzell “made admissions regarding the offenses he was charged with” when police interviewed him, police said.

Grizzell was arrested in October on charges of rape and sexual battery by Elyria police without incident, a day after police received a complaint alleging a sex offense against him.

In November, Grizzell was indicted on eight counts of felony rape, eight counts of felony sexual battery and eight counts of felony gross sexual imposition.

Grizzell served as fire chief in Avon Lake for four years before stepping down in 2005 after months of internal strife between the chief and the city firefighters union. Grizzell remained with the department as a platoon lieutenant before retiring in 2015, according to the Avon Lake Fire Department.

He faces a mandatory prison sentence and could receive a maximum of

128 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Cook on May 2.

Grizzell was being held in Lorain County Jail on $1.25 million bond, according to jail records.

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


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