Ex-Cottage Grove councilman cleared of assaulting wife

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A former member of Cottage Grove City Council has been cleared of domestic assault after an incident involving his wife, but was convicted of disorderly conduct.

A dispute on Jan. 29 between Derrick Lehrke and his wife Autumn over who would take care of their infant son escalated, the South Washington County Bulletin reports.

The criminal complaint said that Autumn Lehrke – a former Washington County commissioner – called police to report her husband had head-butted and punched her, but then during the court trial in June she said she'd exaggerated details of what happened, the newspaper notes.

Police reportedly found her with red eyes and a swollen face, but after her husband's arrest, she released a statement saying she didn’t believe the facts in the criminal complaint were accurate, and she didn’t want the charges filed.

According to the Pioneer Press,Washington County District Court Judge John Hoffman decided there was too little evidence to prove Lehrke inflicted bodily harm on his wife, so he was acquitted of misdemeanor domestic assault.

He was however convicted of disorderly conduct, which was decided after Lehrke waived his right to a jury trial, the newspaper notes.

KARE 11 notes that both Lehrkes were elected to office in 2010, but failed to win re-election after one term.

Derrick Lehrke will be sentenced on Oct. 1.

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