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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

February 6, 2010

GREAT MOMENTS IN ILLINOIS POLITICS

Chicago Tribune - The newly minted Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor said Wednesday he doesn't think a 2005 domestic battery arrest should hurt him in the fall general election, although records in the case raise questions about his version of events.

Scott Lee Cohen, a pawnbroker who was the surprise winner in the little-publicized contest among half a dozen candidates, had previously disclosed the arrest. He described it Wednesday as an argument with his drunken girlfriend and said he didn’t lay a hand on her, though she called the police and had him taken into custody.

But the official police and court records show that the woman alleged Cohen put a knife to her throat and pushed her head against the wall.

In their October 14 arrest report detailing the complaint from the 24-year-old woman, Chicago police noted they observed "mild abrasions from knife wound" on her neck. They also noted 'minor scars on her hand from her trying to defend herself against the arrestee swinging the knife at her.' The report notes the woman was seen by ambulance personnel but not taken to a hospital.

The case was dropped a month later when the woman did not show up for a court date.

Also, public records show that the alleged victim, Scott's 24-year-old girlfriend at the time, was a prostitute. Six months before the October 2005 incident, she had been arrested after a police investigation of a Glenview massage parlor. She later pleaded guilty to a charge of prostitution.

Through a spokesman Cohen said he did not know at the time that the woman was a prostitute and that she had told him she worked as a "massage therapist."

Cohen's spokesman said the woman's accusations about the assault were false, and pointed to the fact that the case was dropped as evidence that complaint was baseless.

"These are accusations of what she says happened, but that is not what happened," said campaign spokesman Phil Molfese.

Molfese said that he doubted that the marks on the woman's neck that were noted by the arresting officers could have been made by a knife, and Cohen stands by his claim that he did not touch the woman.

"Those abrasions, we don't know where they came from," Molfese said.


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