More than three weeks after his girlfriend was charged in an alleged child abuse incident, a Woodbury father also has been charged.
The couple cried racial discrimination - she's black, he's white - when she was arrested and charged but he wasn't.
Police said the father was going to be charged all along; they were just waiting for an investigator to finish a report.
"Race had nothing to do with it,"
Woodbury Cmdr. Jay Alberio said this week.
Garrett Scott Jensen
, 42, was charged Wednesday, April 25, with malicious punishment of a child and domestic assault.
His girlfriend, Ahavel Abimbola Scherz
, 26, was charged with the same two counts on April 3.
According to the criminal complaints, Jensen's 13-year-old daughter took a piece of clothing from Scherz, so she was forced to kneel on a hard floor holding a chair above her head for two hours. If her arms bent or she tried to set the chair down, she was hit with a wooden spoon.
The next day, the girl was forced to go to school wearing a shirt that said, "I'm a thief,"
the complaint said. A school nurse called police after seeing the girl's bruises.
In an email to the Pioneer Press, Scherz outlined her allegations of racial discrimination and said the incident "did not even involve 'hitting' or physical violence."
"This was a case of a minute disciplinary action for/to his 13-year-old daughter who was caught stealing over 30 clothing items ... (T)his was an ongoing problem with his daughter and my personal belongings," Scherz wrote. "This called for more than just talking to her about right and wrong things, chastising her and/or taking her cell phone away like was done in the past."
She said she and Jensen played equal roles in the girl's discipline.
And the criminal complaint filed against her confirms that: "(Garrett) Jensen admitted that he saw and took part in what took place."
But Jensen "was never arrested or reprimanded, jailed, charged nor is he being prosecuted," Scherz wrote in her email, which was sent April 16. "The allegation against us both is identical, however, only I am facing prosecution ... My boyfriend also cites that this is nothing other than racial discrimination."
Scherz also launched a Facebook page called "Justice for Ahavel" to promote her allegations.
Police and prosecutors dismissed the claims and said the case was never closed on Jensen.
Alberio said the investigator who was handling the case was out on leave and had been unable to complete her reports before she left.
Within hours of a call from a reporter Tuesday, Alberio called back and said, "I reviewed (the case file) myself and said I think we can send this out for charging without her reports."
Those reports would have contained "more details of the interviews (the officer) conducted," Alberio said.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said that Scherz was in custody and was charged under the 36-hour rule, and that his office had asked police from the beginning for more information so that Jensen could be charged.
"His case is and always was going to be charged," Orput said of Jensen, confirming hat the charging request came in from Woodbury police late Tuesday afternoon.
"(Scherz) is trying to avert people's attention from the egregious facts of the case,"
Orput said of the discrimination allegations. "And it's not going to work."
Scherz declined to comment further on the case, saying her attorney advised her not to make any public statements.