BARABOO - Libertarian Party congressional nominee Kevin Barrett said Tuesday that charges he struck his teenage son are "completely, 100 percent false" and the complaint stems from an extortion attempt by his wife.
The declaration comes as he was arrested in Madison on Tuesday after police said he violated a court order forbidding contact with his family.
Barrett was charged with disorderly conduct in Sauk County Circuit Court on Friday after being accused of hitting his 13-year-old son.
Barrett's wife received a temporary restraining order to prevent Barrett from having contact with her, the 13-year-old and an 11-year-old son.
A Madison police complaint said Barrett came too close on Saturday to a Madison residence where his wife and two sons had moved.
Barrett was released from the Dane County Jail after posting $500 bail.
Barrett left voicemail and e-mail messages for Capital Newspapers to give his side of the story after being charged with disorderly conduct last week in Sauk County Circuit Court. According to court documents, his wife told a Sauk County Sheriff's Department investigator Barrett struck their 13-year-old son on the back the morning of the primary Sept. 9 after being disturbed by the boy talking while he was trying to sleep.
The county prosecutor has charged Barrett with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, punishable by up to 90 days in jail.
Barrett is in the race to face Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, in November.
In a voicemail message Tuesday morning, Barrett said his wife hates his political activity and his family is under stress due to threats and smears he receives because of his efforts to debunk the official story of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Her actions are based on trying to force him to leave politics and also grew from an effort to extract money from him, he said.
"This is a case where she threatened to have me arrested if I didn't arrange for my family to give her a large sum of money," Barrett said. "I thought that was ridiculous."
In an e-mailed statement, he asserts his wife concocted a false story and enlisted their son in telling it.
Barrett said he has no previous criminal convictions, but his wife has faced abuse charges twice.
A review of Wisconsin's online court records finds two misdemeanor criminal counts of disorderly conduct filed in 2005 and 2006 against Barrett's wife. One involved incidents with Barrett and another involved a third person.
Details of those charges were not available Tuesday, but the court ordered her not to threaten or use violence against her husband and to stay away from the third person and the Hilldale Mall in Madison, court records show.
In 2005, Barrett's wife also petitioned for domestic-abuse and child-abuse restraining orders against Barrett, court records show.
In a phone conversation Tuesday afternoon, Barrett congressional campaign spokesman Rolf Lindgren said that he knows Barrett has never committed violence.
A message left for Barrett's wife at their rural Spring Green home was not returned by press time Tuesday night. Repeated attempts to speak with Barrett on his cell phone were not successful.