The legislative aide to State Rep. Mike Kelley, R-Lamar, has been arrested in Columbia and accused of choking a woman until she passed out. Kolton Babb, legislative aid in Jefferson City, has been suspended from his duties pending the outcome of the case, but Kelley said he believes the accusations are false and the aide will be vindicated in court.

The legislative aide to State Rep. Mike Kelley, R-Lamar, has been arrested in Columbia and accused of choking a woman until she passed out, but Kelly said he believes the accusations are false and the aide will be cleared of the charge.

Kolton Babb, 22, Columbia, was charged in Boone County Circuit Court on Wednesday with one count of felony second degree domestic assault.

Kelley said Babb has been suspended from his duties at the State Capitol in Jefferson City until the outcome of his case as required by Missouri House rules, but Kelley believes he is innocent.

According to online court records, Babb posted a $10,000 cash bond and was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim and stay away from the place where she lived.

According to the Columbia Tribune newspaper, the female victim, 20, told police Babb placed a “chemical smelling rag” to her face after the two had talked in a home in Columbia until about 4 a.m.

The Tribune reported that the woman told police she pushed away and Babb dropped the rag, then he choked her until she lost consciousness.

The newspaper said police reported that woman woke up with Babb standing over her saying “You're fine.”

The Carthage Press spoke to Mike Kelley on Thursday who said Babb has told him he's innocent, and Kelly believes him.

“He's told me he didn't do anything,” Kelly said. “We live under a legal system that says a person is innocent until proven guilty. Based on my conversations with Kolton, I believe he's an innocent man who has been charged with a crime. I believe he will be vindicated and he works for me until a court says otherwise.”

Babb, who is originally from Jasper County, contacted The Press after we spoke to Kelley, but he said he would have to decline comment Thursday evening.

He said he and his lawyer would be releasing a prepared statement Friday morning.

Kelley, from Lamar, represents the 127th Missouri House District, which includes a small neighborhood in east Carthage, Jasper, Sarcoxie, much of rural northern and eastern Jasper County as well as Barton and Dade counties.