Charge against Baesler dropped
BISMARCK - A criminal charge accusing state Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler of striking her then-fianc? with an object has been dismissed for lack of evidence, Bismarck City Prosecutor Paul Fraase said Friday.
BISMARCK – A criminal charge accusing state Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler of striking her then-fiancé with an object has been dismissed for lack of evidence, Bismarck City Prosecutor Paul Fraase said Friday.
Authorities arrested Baesler on Feb. 15 at her Mandan home on suspicion of simple assault, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.
Bismarck police said her then-fiancé, Todd Tschosik, a teacher at Simle Middle School in Bismarck, reported that Baesler had assaulted him at his home early that morning. Police said Tschosik had a visible injury and dried blood on his face.
Fraase said there were two witnesses to the incident, and while they saw Baesler throw some things, “neither of those two saw anything strike the victim.”
“So, I don’t think there’s enough to prove that the injury occurred as a result of her throwing something,” he said.
Fraase said Baesler reportedly threw “some sort of candle” and possibly some Valentine’s Day cards.
“The point was that nobody saw that hit him,” he said.
Fraase said police acted appropriately in arresting Baesler because it was a reported domestic incident involving an injury, “and it appeared that it came from her.” But the witnesses were later interviewed and weren’t able to confirm that whatever she threw struck him, he said.
“The police did a nice job of doing what they were supposed to do,” he said.
Fraase said he doesn’t know how Tschosik’s face was injured.
“It could have been by something she threw, but I don’t think I can prove that without confirmation by witnesses that were there that should have seen,” he said.
Fraase said the witnesses were primarily acquaintances of Tschosik, but Baesler knew them, as well.
Municipal Judge William Severin agreed to dismiss the charge Friday morning at Fraase’s request.
Baesler will be refunded $150 cash bond and a no-contact order prohibiting her from having contact with Tschosik will be lifted, Fraase said.
Baesler had been scheduled for a court trial on Monday.
Check back for more on this developing story.