MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — The Muskegon County judge candidate accused of beating his girlfriend with a belt has filed a motion to lift the no-contact order so the alleged victim can campaign with him.
On Sept. 26, a motion was filed on behalf of Jason Kolkema, 51, to lift the no-contact order with his alleged victim, a condition of his bond.
In August, Kolkema was charged with one count of domestic violence, a misdemeanor, for allegedly physically abusing his girlfriend.
Witnesses saw the alleged beating taking place through the window of an apartment where Kolkema lives on W. Western Avenue near First Street and recorded the incident.
Kolkema turned himself in and posted a $500 cash bond. A condition of the bond, according to court documents, was that he is not allowed to have any direct or indirect contact with the alleged victim or her residence.
In the motion to lift the no-contact order, Kolkema said that it was in the best interest of both parties to have the order lifted.
Court documents noted that Kolkema has never been arrested or charged with any criminal offense before this incident.
He and the alleged victim had been dating since Feb. 14 and have been close friends for the past three years. The motion said that their relationship “is not a relationship that can be characterized as abusive, and there is no evidence of past incidents of abuse.”
The document went on to say that the pair had been living together since June 1 and that the lease is in Kolkema’s name.
“The impact of the no-contact order falls particularly hard on (Kolkema) who is required to pay the rent for an apartment he cannot enjoy,” the motion said, adding that he does not have a lot of other options and wishes to stay in the apartment with the alleged victim.
In addition, the motion states that the alleged victim was a “significant part of (Kolkema’s) campaign” for Muskegon County’s 14th Circuit Court. This makes it difficult to “respond to the false and misleading information that has been circulated to potential voters in Muskegon County.”
A two-day jury trial has been scheduled for Nov. 21 and 22. The general election is Nov. 8.
~ News 8 Investigative Reporter Susan Samples contributed to this report.