AG Schimel: Statement on sentencing of Alec Cook

MADISON, Wis. – Today, Alec R. Cook, 22, Edina, Minn., was sentenced to 3 years in prison and 5 years extended supervision for sexual assault. Attorney General Brad Schimel issued the following statement.

“The Wisconsin Department of Justice is disappointed that Alec Cook did not receive the much longer sentence the prosecution team recommended, and we still believe that is what Alec Cook deserves. I am proud of the Madison Police Department and UW-Madison Police Department investigators, Dane County District Attorney’s victim services, and prosecutors from the Dane County DA’s Office and Wisconsin DOJ for their hard work and commitment to justice for these survivors. While those survivors wish that a longer prison sentence had been imposed, they stood strong. At DOJ, we hope that the fact that Alec Cook stands convicted as a felony sex offender and is on his way to prison will give survivors faith that there are people in the criminal justice system who stand ready to fight for justice for them.”

Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Assistant Attorney General Chris Liegel assisted Dane County Assistant District Attorney Allison Cogbill in prosecuting this case.

Due to the increased occurrences of sexual assault occurring on college campuses, Attorney General Schimel has deployed resources specific to campus sexual assault.

DOJ has worked with the University of Wisconsin System to conduct multi-disciplinary training on sexual assault investigations. In May 2017, at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), DOJ hosted a training about campus sexual assault. Local and campus professionals including city, county, and campus law enforcement, sexual assault nurse examiners, campus officials, victim advocates, and prosecutors gathered for a training about the complexities surrounding the investigation of campus sexual assault and the uniqueness of these types of cases. These experts discussed methods to partner to more effectively address campus sexual assault and protect victims and campus communities.

On college campuses, alcohol is often present during a sexual assault, and the fear of consequences for drinking should never come in the way of a victim seeking help from law enforcement and/or being treated by medical professionals. In 2016, DOJ partnered with the state legislature to support the sexual assault victim amnesty bill, which prevents law enforcement from issuing a citation to an underage victim of sexual assault, or anyone who is present with the victim, when he or she seeks the assistance of emergency medical personnel. This law applies statewide, but these circumstances frequently occur on college campuses.

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