Jacob Blake, the Black man who was left paralyzed after Wisconsin police shot him multiple times in the back in August, reached a plea deal with the state Friday that saw prosecutors drop a sexual assault charge levied against him.
Blake, 29, pleaded guilty over Zoom to two counts of disorderly conduct and domestic abuse and was sentenced to two years of probation, according to online court records.
In exchange, two charges were dropped: one count of criminal trespassing and one count of third-degree sexual assault and domestic abuse.
“Honestly, your honor, although I pled guilty to this, I don’t consider myself to be guilty," Blake told Judge Bruce Schroeder at the hearing, according to the Kenosha News.
“I pretty much took this opportunity to get to see my children quicker.”
The woman who accused Blake of sexual assault, the mother of his 3-, 5- and 8-year-old sons, was not cooperating with the investigation and had walked back her claims, prosecutors said Friday.
On Aug. 23, Kenosha police attempted to subdue Blake as he tried to break up a fight between two women, according to officials and video footage of the incident. As Blake tried to walk away to the driver’s side of his car, Officer Rusten Sheskey and another cop followed.
Blake opened the car door and leaned in, at which point Sheskey fired seven shots at him.
Responding officers said they were trying to take Blake in on outstanding charges filed by the mother of his children.
Blake remains paralyzed from the waist down and has been staying at a rehabilitation facility in Illinois, according to his lawyer.
“He has a severe spinal cord injury and the expectation is that he will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his days,” defense attorney Patrick Cafferty said during the hearing Friday, according to the Kenosha News. “Anyone who meets with him is struck by the amount of pain he is in on a regular basis.”
Judge Schroeder denied the defense’s request for a fine, rather than probation, but said it would be “unrealistic” to imprison Blake after his life changed so “dramatically and perpetually.”
Blake’s shooting spurred days of anti-police brutality protests that shut down the NBA, MLB, NHL, WNBA and MLS. Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, traveled from Antioch, Ill., to Kenosha and fatally shot two men.
Rittenhouse has been charged with two counts of felony homicide, attempted homicide, possession of a dangerous weapon while under the age of 18 and reckless endangerment.
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