for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up
World News

Jacob Blake pleads not guilty to charges prior to Kenosha shooting

Jacob Blake (bottom right), the Black man who was shot seven times by police in Kenosha, appears virtually in a court proceeding related to charges filed prior to the shooting incident which sparked anti-racism protests across the nation, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S., September 4, 2020 in this framegrab from court TV. Kenosha County Court/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old Black man whose shooting by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, reignited nationwide protests over racism and police brutality, pleaded not guilty on Friday to criminal charges filed prior to the shooting.

A complaint accuses Blake of criminal trespass, third-degree sexual assault and disorderly conduct based on statements by his ex-girlfriend at the time, the mother of three of his children, who told police Blake broke into her home on May 3 and sexually assaulted her before stealing her truck and debit card.

Blake entered the plea through his lawyer during a livestreamed court hearing, his first public appearance since he was shot in the back by a white Kenosha police officer on Aug. 23.

Blake, who was left paralyzed from the waist down by the shooting, was propped up in his hospital bed, dressed in a blue shirt and yellow tie, with his lawyer, Patrick Cafferty, sitting in a chair to his side.

Cafferty noted that Blake had been working as a painter and that he had no prior criminal record or convictions in any state.

Blake raised his hand to greet Loren Keating, a Kenosha County judicial court commissioner, when addressed, saying “Yes sir,” when asked if he could hear clearly and whether he understood the terms of his $10,000 signature bond.

“The state recognizes that these are serious charges but also that the defendant has serious injuries and he’s recovering at the hospital,” said Zeke Wiedenfeld, a prosecutor.

The court set trial to begin on Nov. 9 with jury selection. The complaint does not identify the ex-girlfriend by name.

Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut, and Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Howard Goller

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up