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Sex-assault case against Milwaukee firefighter dismissed

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A sexual-assault case against a Milwaukee firefighter has been dismissed.

Michael Peden was charged in December 2017 with second-degree sexual assault. But according to court records, the case was dismissed on Thursday without prejudice — meaning charges could be re-filed.

Peden was accused of groping a fellow worker and giving her a poor evaluation after she had complained.

Peden’s attorney, Rebecca Coffee, says Peden feels vindicated and has maintained his innocence.

At the time, Peden was working as a heavy-equipment operator and was assigned as an acting lieutenant at a fire house. His attorney says that, by Thursday morning, Peden had been placed on paid leave.

Chief Deputy Milwaukee County District Attorney Kent Lovern tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that conflicting witness statements made the case not provable beyond a reasonable doubt.

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