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Lansing, Michigan, police investigate alleged sex assault in state Rep. Neil Friske case as probe continues

Rep. Neil Friske on the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives, at the Michigan Capitol, in Lansing, Oct. 10, 2023. (David Guralnick/The Detroit News/TNS)

DETROIT — Lansing police officers are investigating a possible sexual assault related to the arrest of Michigan state Rep. Neil Friske on Thursday, the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office said in a Friday statement.

Lansing Police submitted a warrant request to Ingham County Prosecutor John Dewane’s office Thursday and requested felony charges of sexual assault, assault and a weapons offense, according to a Michigan State Police online search function.

Dewane said Friday he reviewed the initial investigation and asked the police department to continue its investigation. He said his office will continue to coordinate with police.

“During the course of the initial investigation, law enforcement officers learned of a possible sexual assault of an adult female, and then they arrested a 62-year old male, Kornelius Friske,” Dewane said in a statement.

No criminal charges have been filed. Friske was released from jail Friday, Lansing police spokesperson Jordan Gulkis said.

Officers were dispatched to the 2100 block of Forest Road early Thursday morning after receiving a report of a man with a gun and possible shots fired, the Lansing Police Department said Thursday. Friske, 62, owns a condominium nearby, records show.

Gulkis said Thursday that Friske was arrested at the scene Thursday “for a felon-level offense.”

Friske is a Republican from Charlevoix. His campaign published a statement on Facebook midday Thursday about the arrest, suggesting it involved a firearm. The campaign thanked people for their concern and support and asked people for prayers.

Friske is one of the most conservative members of the lower chamber and is part of the Michigan House Freedom Caucus. He and his brother run Friske Orchards in Ellsworth, according to Friske’s biography. Neil Friske is the owner of Friske & Sons Property Management, a Harbor Springs business he incorporated in 1998, according to state records.

The lawmaker’s biography indicates Friske is a father of four, has five grandchildren, “serves in the local church where he worships” and is a member of Right to Life, Farm Bureau, Michigan United Conservation Clubs and the National Rifle Association.

Friske is not married and previously rented a place in Lansing with state Rep. Mike Hoadley, R-Au Gres, until December when Friske bought a condo, according to Hoadley.

“Being a single man, he never brought any women home or any shenanigans,” Hoadley told The Detroit News on Thursday. “He always seemed like he was kind of on the straight and narrow, I always thought. He doesn’t drink, as far as I know.”

Hoadley said lawmakers are waiting to learn more about the incident leading to Friske’s arrest “and find out what really happened.”

In a Friday morning social media post, State Rep. Phil Skaggs, D-East Grand Rapids, called for Friske to resign.

“While we do not yet have all the details of the incident, Neil Friske himself knows exactly what happened,” Skaggs wrote Thursday on X, formerly Twitter.

“I call on Rep. Friske to look to his conscience and do the right thing. If these allegations are true, Friske should resign from the Michigan House immediately.”


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