The St. Paul police officer charged with punching a possibly suicidal 14-year-old girl outside a shelter for sexually exploited girls was booked into and released from the Ramsey County jail Friday.
Michael P. Soucheray II, 38, of Woodbury, was charged in January via summons, meaning he was allowed to appear at the jail for booking on his own volition before his first court date.
Soucheray was “fingerprinted, photographed and went on his way,” said his attorney, Peter Wold. “He went in [Friday] and got that done, and that’s what happened.
“Mike’s anxious to get it rolling. He wants to get back to work. We’re going to ask for a speedy trial as soon as we appear in court.”
Soucheray’s first court hearing is an arraignment scheduled for March 16.
To avoid any conflict of interest, the Minneapolis city attorney’s office charged Soucheray with one count of misdemeanor fifth-degree assault in the Dec. 1 incident.
He currently is on paid administrative leave while an internal affairs investigation remains open and active,
According to the complaint, police were called to Brittany’s Place, a shelter for sexually exploited girls from 10 to 17 years old, in the 1200 block of E. 7th St. regarding a possibly suicidal girl. She refused to speak with Soucheray when he arrived at the scene.
The girl didn’t want to go to the hospital, became agitated and refused to get in an ambulance. Soucheray told her that he and his partner, officer Chris Rhoades, would take her there instead. They handcuffed her and escorted her to their squad car, but she refused to get in.
The girl “was screaming and crying throughout this process,” the complaint said.
Soucheray pulled her into the squad. At some point afterward, the girl spat in his face.
“The defendant then struck [the girl] two times in the face with a closed fist causing her pain,” the complaint said. “The defendant also grabbed [her] by the jaw and/or face/neck area. The defendant called [her] a [expletive] [expletive].”
Wold has said that his client acted in self-defense in reaction to a “screaming, threatening subject immediately after she had committed a felony assault on officer Soucheray by intentionally spitting her saliva into his face.”