Wisconsin prosecutors have dropped the sexual assault charges against Jacob Blake. He was the black man left paralysed in a police shooting, setting off protests across the entire nation during the summer.
Blake was about to be arrested for sexual assault charges by the Kenosha police on 23 August when he was shot seven times in the back as he attempted to swiftly duck into his car.
Blake had been accused of breaking into a woman’s house and sexually assaulting her back in May and on Monday, the case had been scheduled to go on trial.
The 29-year-old took a plea deal and admitted to two misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct. The hearing took place via Zoom on Friday and Blake was sentenced to two years of probation. In exchange for this, the felony charges of third-degree sexual assault and a misdemeanor criminal trespass charge against him were dropped.
The prosecutors stated that the alleged victim, the mother of Blake’s three sons, had retreated from her claims and was not cooperating in the investigation, as reported by Kenosha News. Zeke Wiedenfeld, the Walworth County District Attorney, stated that the victim was not responsive to the subpoena to appear in court.
However, there has been an alleged history of 911 calls by the woman against Blake which accused him of property disputes and domestic violence although Blake has not been convicted of a crime as an adult.
Judge Bruce Schroeder is reported to have dressed down Blake for these allegations of domestic violence and stated that it makes for a bad example for the children. But he acknowledged that Blake’s life has now undergone a drastic change.
“I hope that [your medical condition] will improve and that you’ll do better, but it does make unrealistic the suggestion that you be imprisoned for these cases,” said the judge.
Blake has been paralysed from the waist down and is staying at a rehabilitation facility in Illinois. According to his lawyer, he will be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
An investigation is being conducted into the police shooting which sparked huge-scale protests against police brutality.