• Sun. Oct 25th, 2020

Jacob Blake, the Kenosha man shot by police, pleads not guilty to sexual assault charge

Jacob Blake, the Wisconsin man who was shot by police in a videotaped confrontation that has sparked national protests, pleaded not guilty Friday to several charges against him, including one for sexual assault.

Blake was in his hospital bed and wore a blue dress shirt and yellow tie as he appeared with his lawyer via Zoom before Kenosha County Commissioner Loren J. Keating.

Keating found there was enough evidence to send the matter to trial and sent the case to Judge Bruce E. Schroeder. Jury selection was set for Nov. 9.

So far there have been no substantive talks about a plea bargain, a prosecutor and Blake’s defense lawyer both told Keating.

Blake, through his lawyer, agreed to post a $10,000 bond, promised to stay away from his accuser and said he’d only leave Wisconsin for medical care.

Jacob Blake.Facebook

A criminal complaint was filed against Blake in July, accusing him of sexually assaulting a woman in May. The woman told police that Blake also took her car keys and a debit card.

He pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault, trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Blake became the focus of protesters seeking police reform after a Kenosha officer was videotaped firing several shots into Blake’s back at close range on Aug. 23. Police had been called to the area to respond to a domestic violence report.

The officer who fired the seven shots, seven-year veteran Rusten Sheskey, and two other officers at the scene have been placed on administrative leave, officials have said.

Blake’s family and lawyers have said he was left paralyzed from the waist down after the shooting.