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Arrest warrant issued for court employee accused of rape inside Justice Center

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Posted at 5:18 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 19:55:40-04

CLEVELAND — An arrest warrant has been issued for a Cleveland Municipal Court employee accused of raping a woman inside his office in Cuyahoga County's Justice Center last month.

The 27-year-old victim told investigators that 50-year-old Zino Kirby exposed himself, grabbed her by the hair and tried forcing her into a sex act inside his office on July 26.

Personnel records show Kirby works as a pre-trial services release officer for Cleveland Municipal Court.

A court spokesman said Kirby was "immediately removed from the workplace and placed on administrative leave when the Court was made aware of the allegation on July 28."

According to a police report, the victim told investigators she was able to get away when a delivery from Kirby's fiancée arrived at his office.

Police said the woman works for a community corrections organization that works with the court.

Court records show investigators asked a judge to set a high bond in the felony rape case, writing Kirby used his position with the court to sexually assault the victim and that the victim fears Kirby.

Sondra Miller, President and CEO of Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, called the fact police said the attack occurred inside the Justice Center especially alarming.

Miller said many survivors of sexual assault already fear going to the Justice Center to talk with detectives and relive their attacks in court.

She worries that the fact a court employee is accused of rape will have a chilling effect on survivors' willingness to come forward and report similar crimes.

"When a member who represents the criminal justice system is one of the perpetrators of the crime, it gives survivors yet another reason not to trust the system," said Miller.

According to personnel records, Kirby has worked for the city since December 1994.