High-profile Kingman man acquitted of molestation charges

KINGMAN, Ariz. — An economic development leader who has been heavily involved in northwest Arizona politics was acquitted Friday of molesting his own grandsons.

Don Van Brunt, 83, was accused of molesting his two grandsons, now 19 and 25, as far back as 1997.

Defense attorney Joshua Davidson branded the alleged victims as drug-abusing thieves and argued that the state’s case was weak and a “joke.”

Van Brunt lost his job as executive director of the Mohave County Economic Development Authority in early 2000, after local media exposure of his counterfeit-related conviction in the early 1980s. He has served as a member of the Mohave County Workforce Investment Board and as a local Republican party precinct committeeman.