Police seek sexual assault and weapons charges against Republican lawmaker arrested Thursday • Michigan Advance
Police seek sexual assault and weapons charges against Republican lawmaker arrested Thursday • Michigan Advance

State Rep. Neil Friske (R-Charlevoix) may face three felony charges following his arrest early Thursday morning.

Records obtained through the Michigan State Police’s Criminal History Access online tool show that Lansing police have charged Friske with sexual assault, assault and a weapons offense.

An email from the Ingham County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Friday that no charges have been filed against Friske, nor has a date been set for an arraignment.

Rep. Neil Friske (R-Charlevoix). | Kyle Davidson

In a statement, Ingham County Prosecutor John Dewane said Lansing police responded to an incident Thursday where a man was reported with a gun and shots may have been fired. During the course of the initial investigation, officers learned of a possible sexual assault on an adult female and arrested a 62-year-old man named Kornelius Friske, according to Dewane, the deputy’s legal name.

“The Lansing Police Department submitted a warrant application to our office on June 21, 2024. After reviewing the initial investigation, I have asked the Lansing Police Department to continue their investigation. Our office will continue to work with law enforcement on this matter,” Dewane said.

Jordan Gulkis, spokesman for the Lansing Police Department, confirmed Friday that Friske had been released from prison.

In a video posted on X According to Detroit Free Press reporter Paul Egan, Friske’s attorney, Edwar Zeineh, said they would conduct a thorough investigation and turn the results over to the Ingham County District Attorney so he could “make an informed decision not to file charges against Representative Friske.”

Following Friske’s arrest, his re-election campaign team posted on Facebook on Thursday calling the timing of his arrest “highly suspicious” and making a connection that Friske was arrested shortly before the release of mail-in ballots for the upcoming August 6 primary.

“This morning we were informed that Rep. Friske is being arrested and detained. As many of us know, Rep. Friske is always exercising his right to freedom under the 2nd Amendment. We have no details other than what the media has gathered, oddly enough before any of us knew. … We ask everyone for prayers and to stay tuned for any news directly from this campaign or from Rep. Friske himself,” the post said.

Friske, who represents Michigan’s 107th Congressional District, is being challenged by Republican Parker Fairbairn of Harbor Springs, while Jodi Decker of Sault Ste. Marie is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Friske is one of the state’s most conservative legislators and a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus in Michigan. attempted to reprimand Michigan House Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) She claimed that the state’s first black speaker of the House of Representatives “advocated clear discrimination” by allowing the House to pass a state budget that included grants for minority-owned businesses.

Friske has also initiated efforts abolish the protection of reproductive rights accepted by voters and obliges libraries, Create a restricted area for “obscene or sexually explicit content that is harmful to minors” and is only accessible to persons aged 18 and over.

Representative Phil Skaggs (D-East Grand Rapids) called for Friske’s resignation in a post to X on Thursday.

“Although we do not yet know all the details of the incident, Neil Friske himself knows exactly what happened. I urge Representative Friske to listen to his conscience and do the right thing. If these allegations are true, Friske should immediately resign from the Michigan House of Representatives,” Skaggs said.

By Isla