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GOP lawmaker released from jail as Lansing police investigate alleged sexual assault, weapons offense

State Rep. Neil Friske (R-Charlevoix) is being held in the Lansing city jail while the prosecutor reviews an incident that allegedly included shots being fired.
Steve Carmody
/
Michigan Public
State Rep. Neil Friske (R-Charlevoix) is being held in the Lansing city jail while the prosecutor reviews an incident that allegedly included shots being fired.

Updated 4:06 p.m., June 21, 2024

State Rep. Neil Friske was released from jail today as law enforcement continues to investigate allegations against him that include sexual assault and firearms-related offenses.

The first-term Republican lawmaker was arrested early Thursday morning for “a felony-level offense” after Lansing police officers responded to a report of shots fired.

The Lansing Police Department requested warrants on felony charges of assault, sexual assault and a weapons violation. A statement from LPD following Friske's arrest said "additional investigation is still underway" as the department prepares to present the case for prosecutors to review.

On Friday, Ingham County Prosecutor John Dewane confirmed LPD had submitted a warrant request as officers continue to investigate a "possible sexual assault of an adult female," and will decide if and when to file charges based on the results of the investigation.

"Our office will continue to work in coordination with law enforcement on this matter," Dewane said in a statement.

The first-term state representative missed Thursday’s House session and several record roll call votes.

In a Facebook post, Friske’s reelection campaign appeared to try to link the arrest to the upcoming primary and a “deep state” conspiracy.

“As many of us know, Rep Friske is always exercising his 2nd Amendment right,” it said.

The campaign also called the timing of the arrest “highly suspect” as absentee ballots will be mailed soon and claimed without offering details that Friske’s primary challenger, Parker Fairbairn, has “deep state ties.”

Friske's district, which comprises the northwestern tip of the Lower Peninsula and the eastern tip of the Upper Peninsula, is solidly Republican.

A spokesman for House Minority Leader Matt Hall (R-Richland Twp.) did not respond to a request for comment.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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