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Police still investigating Michigan lawmaker on sexual assault and weapons charges

Police still investigating Michigan lawmaker on sexual assault and weapons charges

By Michigan Advance

July 10, 2024

BY ANNA LIZ NICHOLS, MICHIGAN ADVANCE

MICHIGAN—Lansing Police requested felony sexual assault, assault and a weapons-related offense last month for state Rep. Neil Friske (R-Charlevoix) after his nighttime arrest, but the police department confirmed Tuesday that it is still investigating the case.

For his part, Friske says he’s being “framed.”

The Lansing Police Department says it responded to a report of a male with a gun and possible shots that fired at around 2:45 a.m. on June 20, arresting the first-term lawmaker, whose legal name is Kornelius Friske.

Ingham County Prosecutor John Dewane said last month in a statement that the Lansing Police Department submitted the case to the prosecutor’s office the next day having learned of a possible sexual assault of an adult female during the investigation.

“I have asked the Lansing Police Department to continue their investigation. Our office will continue to work in coordination with law enforcement on this matter,” Dewane said in last month’s statement.

It is common for further investigation to be requested, prosecutor spokesman Scott Hughes told the Michigan Advance.

“Cases are regularly further-investigated and then later, upon the review of the further investigation, either authorized or denied,” Hughes said.

Of the 5,215 total cases the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office has reviewed since July 9, 2023, 679 of them have been returned to law enforcement for further review—about 13% of cases—Hughes said.

Friske, a member of the Freedom Caucus, has denied wrongdoing, going on the right-wing “Your Defending Fathers” radio program on June 24 that’s hosted by GOP activist “Trucker Randy” Bishop.

Bishop opened the segment about Friske by calling attention to the fact that Friske had been passed over for a few endorsements shortly before the events of Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Friske’s Republican opponent in the GOP primary, Parker Fairbairn, announced on Facebook Wednesday morning that U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) had endorsed him. At the start of that week, Fairburn announced that he had received Michigan Farm Bureau’s AgriPac endorsement.

“Do you think Neil Friske was feeling a little depressed about his political chances of getting reelected? Do you think he was a little bit upset over the fact that Farm Bureau AgriPac and his very own congressman, Jack Bergman, endorsed his opponent in a primary election after serving just one term with a 100% conservative voting record?” Bishop said. “Did he make some bad decisions Wednesday night heading into the early hours of Thursday morning? Yes, he did. He’s a man. You cast the first stone if you’ve never sinned.”

Bishop didn’t further elaborate on what those “bad decisions” were, and said numerous times that the “Bergman machine” is working to destroy Friske in the election.

Bergman did not return a request for comment.

Friske claimed that all the information Bishop presented was “100% accurate information.”

“The way events unfolded, it was very clear to me that something wasn’t right, and I was being framed, trying to be framed, and being set up,” Friske said. “And that’s how these people work and it’s just so frustrating. It’s just amazing to me how desperate people are that they go to these kinds of lengths to try to destroy someone.

READ MORE: What we know about Republican state Rep. Neil Friske and his alleged crimes

This coverage was republished from Michigan Advance pursuant to a Creative Commons license. 

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CATEGORIES: GOP ACCOUNTABILITY
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