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Local

DeKalb alderman charged with domestic battery

DeKALB – DeKalb City Council Alderman Victor Wogen was charged Sunday with two counts of misdemeanor domestic battery after police say he shoved his wife during an argument.

Wogen, 39, was arrested Sunday by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office. He was elected in April 2007 as the Third Ward representative to the DeKalb City Council.

Police were called early Sunday afternoon to Wogen's home, where his wife reported that Wogen pushed her in the chest during an argument, according to authorities and court documents, causing her to lose her balance and fall back onto a couch. The Daily Chronicle does not print the names of domestic violence victims.

"Beyond that, all I can tell you is that the victim did not require medical attention," DeKalb County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Kevin Hickey said. "There was no serious injury whatsoever. Our detectives found probable cause at the end of their investigation to warrant charges."

Wogen's wife told police that this was not the first time a physical altercation had happened between her and her husband but said it is the first time she has called police, according to court documents.

Victor Wogen said he has "never, ever done this before" and denied pushing his wife on Sunday. He said he is in the process of a divorce and "it's getting pretty ugly." Victor Wogen said he was preparing to go to a softball game, like he does every Sunday, when he and his wife had a 30-second verbal argument. No children were present, he said.

"I was nowhere near her. The closest I was [to her] was 6 or 8 feet. We were in separate rooms. I don't know where this is coming from," Wogen said.

Wogen said he was halfway to his game when he got a call from DeKalb Police and was asked to go to the department. When he arrived, Wogen said, he was told that his wife was accusing him of pushing her.

Although the case happened within the jurisdiction of DeKalb Police, DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen said he requested the sheriff's department handle the investigation.

"This is kind of a standard practice when we might have a conflict," Feithen said. "Since he is a sitting aldermen, it made sense to us to ask the sheriff's department to handle the investigation. We just don't want to be in a position where somebody is questioning whether we made the right call because it was an alderman."

Circuit Court Judge Robbin Stuckert approved an emergency order of protection Monday afternoon against Victor Wogen, covering Wogen's wife and the couple's two daughters. Wogen was ordered to stay away from his wife's workplace and not to discuss the criminal charges or order of protection with his children.

Wogen was free on $1,000 bail Monday, according to jail and court records.

Wogen said he was frustrated with the legal system, saying he had never been charged with domestic violence before.

"I don't understand how someone can make an accusation with no proof and someone else can be thrown into jail," he said. "I spent the night in jail for doing nothing."

Both domestic battery charges are Class A misdemeanors, which are each punishable by less than one year in jail. Wogen is next scheduled to be in court at 8:45 a.m. Sept. 11.

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