Representative from Michigan. Neil Friske arrested, faces sexual assault and gun charges

A conservative Michigan state lawmaker is under investigation for sexual assault after being arrested shortly before 3 a.m. Thursday in Lansing.

The Lansing Police Department filed for criminal sexual assault, assault and weapons charges against the representative on Friday. Neil Friske, a 62-year-old Republican representing parts of northern Michigan who is seeking re-election this year.

Friske did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Friske had not been formally charged as of Friday afternoon. According to the office of Ingham County Prosecutor John J. Dewane (D), an investigation is underway into the late-night incident, which began when police responded to reports of a man with a firearm and possible shooting.

“During the initial investigation, law enforcement learned of a possible sexual assault of an adult female and arrested a 62-year-old man, Kornelius Friske,” Dewane’s office said, using the full first name of the legislator.

Police arrested Friske around 2:45 a.m. Thursday and took him into custody. The block where police said Friske was arrested is where he purchased a condo in January, property records show.

The lawmaker was released Friday.

Hours after Friske’s arrest Thursday morning, his campaign defended him in a statement, writing: “As many of us know, Rep. Friske is still exercising his right under the 2nd Amendment. »

In its statement, Friske’s campaign called the arrest suspicious because of the upcoming release of mail-in ballots for Michigan’s Aug. 1 runoff. 6 primary. The campaign also accused Friske’s “opponent” of having “ties to the deep state,” but did not specify whether it was his primary Republican challenger or the Democrat vying to represent the Michigan’s 107th District.

Parker Fairbairn, Friske’s primary Republican challenger, said in a statement Friday that Friske deserved “the presumption of innocence until proven guilty” but called the congressman’s voting record “appalling and immoral.”

“Neil deserves his time in court, and the people of the 107th deserve better than Neil,” Fairbairn said.

As a member of the conservative Michigan House Freedom Caucus, Friske supported tough immigration policies and introduced legislation aimed at restricting access to abortion, including an unsuccessful bill that would have banned the use of Prescription pills for medical abortions.

Critics of Friske in Democratic-led state legislation have demanded accountability from the Republican lawmaker, along with the state representative. Phil Skaggs (D) said on X that if the sexual assault allegations are true, Friske should “immediately resign from the Michigan House.”

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