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Medical Lake sergeant pleads guilty

TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 2009, 1:16 P.M.

A Medical Lake police sergeant pleaded guilty today to fourth-degree assault with sexual motivations for touching a female co-worker’s breast in January 2008, city officials announced today.

The crime is a gross misdemeanor.

Joseph Mehrens remains on paid administrative leave while an internal investigation continues, according to a press release from the City of Medical Lake.

No one from City Hall was available for comment regarding Mehren’s plea.

The sergeant, a 12-year police department veteran, has been on paid administrative leave since late August 2008. Mehrens makes $48,734 a year, city officials said.

In a previous news report, the female employee said the incident occurred in January, the same month the sergeant was named interim police chief. Mehrens was disciplined internally, but officials refused to say how.

The employee claimed Mehrens retaliated against her in written and verbal communications after her complaint. Mehrens remained interim chief until Aug. 2, when the woman filed a criminal complaint. He was on active duty until she filed a restraining order Aug. 21.

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