Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Chair pleads not guilty in battery case; faces two felony chargesSubmitted: 10/11/2017
Allie Herrera
Allie Herrera

Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Chair pleads not guilty in battery case; faces two felony charges
CRANDON - A former Mole Lake tribal member accuses the chairman of assaulting him at the tribal offices. 

On Wednesday, Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Chair Chris McGeshick, heard some of the evidence against him including one new charge. 

McGeshick faces two misdemeanor charges, which include battery and disorderly conduct. He also faces two felony charges, which include false imprisonment and intimidation of a witness. 

McGeshick is accused of restraining a tribal member after asking him to turn over a phone. The incident happened on June 29. 

McGeshick's attorney, Phyllis Tousey, said the tribe was conducting an investigation into the former tribal member, which is part of the reason why they asked for the phone back. Tousey said the phone was the Tribe's property. She went on to say McGeshick was enforcing tribal law and that the victim was acting strange. 
"He was screaming. He was yelling. He was throwing himself around. He was acting very strangely and this continued as he refused to cooperate [and] refused to turn over his cell phone," said Tousey. 

In court, the Forest County Sheriff as well as the captain testified. They both spoke to the victim after the incident. They said they saw markings on his face including small cuts above the victim's eye and lip. Police went on to say the victim was visibly upset. 

Witnesses told police McGeshick was restraining the victim and put him in some sort of "arm hold."

Phyllis Tousey, McGeshick's attorney, says this is a matter that should be handled by the tribal court system. 

"He's trying to pull it in to state court and say he's a victim so that he can essentially change the forum of where the manner should be heard," said Tousey. 

Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono did not want to speak on camera after the hearing, but did say the facts of the case will speak for themselves. 

McGeshick pleaded not guilty to all four counts. He is due back in court on January 17. 

His attorney also told us they plan to file several motions between now and then. 

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