Veteran lawmaker makes 1st court appearance on abuse charge
Elk River, Minn. — (AP)- A tearful state Rep. Mark Olson on Tuesday made his first court appearance after his arrest for alleged domestic abuse, and was released without bail on the condition that he stay away from his wife and five children.
Through his court-appointed attorney, the Republican from Big Lake said he would not enter a plea in the case. He said a guilty plea would be inappropriate and a not guilty plea would suggest he was "avoiding responsibility."
The judge allowed Olson to return to his house once to retrieve his personal belongings. Olson told reporters Tuesday that he had no intention of resigning from the Legislature.
The criminal complaint filed in the case said Olson's wife, Heidi, told sheriff's deputies that Olson pushed her to the ground three times during an argument Sunday at their home in Big Lake. Deputies noted that she had a "fresh bruise."
After Olson was arrested Sunday night, he told deputies on Monday that he grabbed his wife by the shoulders "placing her on the ground," according to the criminal complaint.
Olson, who was handcuffed and wearing jail orange, told reporters Tuesday that he had "made mistakes." He didn't comment further.
Olson, a 51-year-old carpenter, was elected to an eighth term last week to represent a district that includes Big Lake, Clear Lake, Zimmerman, Becker and part of Elk River.
His next court date was set for Dec. 12.