Sex assault case against Milwaukee firefighter dismissed

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A sexual assault case against a Milwaukee firefighter has been dismissed.

Michael Peden was charged in December 2017 with second-degree sexual assault. But according to court records, the case was dismissed Thursday without prejudice -- meaning charges could be re-filed.

Peden was accused of groping a co-worker and giving her a poor evaluation after she complained.

Peden's attorney, Rebecca Coffee, says Peden feels vindicated and has maintained his innocence.

At the time, Peden worked as a heavy equipment operator and was assigned as an acting lieutenant at a fire house. His attorney says as of Thursday morning, Peden was on paid leave.

Chief Deputy Milwaukee County District Attorney Kent Lovern tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that conflicting witness statements made the case not provable beyond a reasonable doubt.