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Tuesday, March 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Detox director charged with assault

UPDATED: Fri., Oct. 30, 2015

Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell has charged Jon D. Schlenske, director of the organization formerly named Community Detox, with misdemeanor assault, but his attorney said Friday a plea deal has already been worked out.

Schlenske was arrested on suspicion of assault and felony unlawful imprisonment in September after allegedly grabbing a woman and pinning her against a car outside a Liberty Lake bar while he was drunk.

At the time, the prosecutor assigned to the case declined to file charges, but Haskell reviewed it after Liberty Lake Police Chief Brian Asmus objected.

Haskell filed the fourth-degree assault charge Thursday. He said he reviewed the evidence and thought there was probable cause for fourth-degree assault but not felony unlawful imprisonment. He said he also spoke to the woman involved. “I took her statements into consideration,” he said.

Schlenske’s attorney, Chris Bugbee, said he and Haskell have agreed on a deferred prosecution deal. If Schlenske follows through with treatment and has no further criminal charges for two years, the assault charge will be dismissed, Bugbee said.

“Larry and I haven’t been specific on what the counseling and treatment might be,” Bugbee said.

Haskell said he is barred by state law from discussing plea negotiations.

Schlenske, the executive director of Spokane Treatment and Recovery Services, was argumentative with police the night he was arrested. Police body camera footage shows him refusing repeated commands to get inside a patrol car after he was arrested and shouting threats to the officer from the back seat when he was driven to jail.

Asmus said he was later notified Schlenske “failed” the booking process and became so unruly he was put in a restraint chair.

Asmus said he’s glad Haskell took a second look at the case. “I think it worked out the way it should have initially, working with the law enforcement that made the referral and the victim,” he said.

He said he has no problem with the plea deal. “Ultimately, it’s really about the accountability,” he said. “That would probably be more successful than just locking him up or giving him a fine.”

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