Traverse City Record-Eagle

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December 29, 2012

GT County deputy charged in assault case

TRAVERSE CITY — A Grand Traverse sheriff's deputy who dodged a domestic violence charge last year now faces a pair of misdemeanors for an altercation with a female acquaintance.

Deputy Ryan Salisbury, who hired on with the sheriff's department about 10 years ago, is charged with domestic violence and disturbing the peace. He is free on bond after 86th District Judge Mike Stepka arraigned him Friday morning.

Salisbury serves as a K-9 deputy, according to profile information on the sheriff's department web page. City police arrested him after a Dec. 6 incident at Union Street Station. Witnesses said Salisbury assaulted the woman, police said previously, though she denied being injured.

Salisbury in 2011 was investigated for an alleged assault against another woman. Assistant Leelanau County Prosecutor Doug Donaldson, who handled that case after Leelanau Prosecutor Joe Hubbell was assigned special prosecutor, declined to issue charges then.

The victim in that case, Salisbury's now ex-wife, "was adamant about not wanting to go forward" with charges, Donaldson said.

Antrim County Prosecutor Charles Koop, who is handling the current matter as a special prosecutor, said he may use information about the prior incident at trial for this case.

Salisbury remains on paid leave from the sheriff's department. Sheriff Tom Bensley said his department will wait for the criminal process to wrap before making final disciplinary decisions.

"We take these one step at a time. There is a contract in place that we have to follow," he said. "The final disposition is going to be down the road, though there may be some interim steps that we take prior to that final disposition."

The alleged victim in the recent case asked Stepka to remove a no-contact order during Friday's arraignment. Stepka declined, but said the matter could be addressed at Salisbury's Jan. 2 pre-trial hearing.

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