Former Bellevue City Councilman Chuck Fredrick pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual assault Friday, and a trial date was set for July 26 in Sarpy County Court.
James Martin Davis, the attorney representing Fredrick, said the allegations against Fredrick reflect an inability to take a joke.
“This was nothing but a joke,” Davis said.
“It certainly wasn’t the act of a sexual predator. In order to commit a sexual offense, particularly as it relates to sexual assault, you have to do it with lascivious intent, and he had no such intent or sexual purpose.
“They were joking around the poker table earlier, and when they went outside he continued to joke. Some people can’t take a joke.”
Fredrick, 81, is charged with third-degree sexual assault for an incident that allegedly occurred the afternoon of Nov. 7, 2015 at The Crook, a Bellevue pool hall at 908 Fort Crook Road S.
According to a Bellevue police report, a 28-year-old woman alleges Fredrick grabbed her breasts at the pool hall while both were patrons there.
The sexual assault charge constitutes a Class I misdemeanor in Nebraska and is punishable by a $1,000 fine, a year in jail or both.
Fredrick has maintained an active presence in Bellevue’s political life for the past 20 years.
He served four years on the City Council from 1998 to 2002 as representative for Ward I and has become a perennial candidate for mayor, having lost mayoral races in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.
He regularly addresses the City Council and mayor at the conclusion of council meetings, outlining his concerns about how city government is managed.