Updated Fri, Apr 13, 2012 3:33 pm
Some Stewart residents are holding a fundraiser tomorrow in support of an Athens County man who is accused of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl and holding her against her will.
Gregory Gilkey faces charges of kidnapping and gross sexual imposition following an Athens County Grand Jury session on Thursday.
Crystal Norton, who organized the fundraiser, says more than 20 people in her community plan to assist with the bake sale and yard sale to raise money for Gilkey's court costs and legal fees.
"Everybody was in shock, disgust, because we personally know him. We come in contact with him daily, so we were just in shock and didn't believe anything at all. We automatically came to his defense," said Norton.
Norton said she's known Gilkey most of her life, and does not believe he is guilty.
"He helps with over 99 percent of our community. He cuts our grasses for us," she said. "We as a community believe in his innocence and want to stand behind him and give back to him what he's gave to all o us. He's just a humungous help and a big asset to our community."
Sheriff's deputies say Gilkey confessed to having contact with the girl twice in March.
Gilkey is currently behind bars at the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail.
His arraignment is set for April 18th.