Kings County Supervisor denies rape charges

FRESNO, Calif.

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In a nearly three minute speech, Richard Valle proclaimed his innocence to his fellow supervisors and members of the public who attended Tuesday's meeting. He also stepped down as Chairman of the Board until the rape charges he's facing are resolved.

Richard Valle looked calm during most of Tuesday's Kings County Board of Supervisors meeting. But before the meeting began, Valle started to cry as he addressed his fellow supervisors and the public about the charges he's facing. "I am extremely appreciative of the great ... support ... that has come my way."

Valle also denied any wrongdoing. "The fact that I was arrested and that I may be facing charges is of course extremely embarrassing and regrettable. However I'm going to state emphatically ... that I have not committed any crime."

On Wednesday Valle was arrested at his home in Corcoran after police say a 24-year-old friend accused him of raping her while she was drunk and unconscious. At Tuesday's supervisors meeting, several of Valle's constituents spoke to the board to show their support for the supervisor.

Dagoberto Ovalle said, "He's innocent until proven guilty so uh ... with me I believe he did the right thing he came to work just like anybody else would have."

Valle said he will continue to serve on the Board of Supervisors but decided to step down as chairman until the case against him is over. Vice Chair Tony Barba was named the interim board chairman.

"He's going to be tied up with his defense and wouldn't have time to do the chairman's duties," said Barba.

The district attorney's office says they are reviewing more evidence against Valle before filing charges against him.

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