Wisconsin Prosecutor Attempted to Cover Up “Sext” Messages Sent to Domestic Abuse Victim
A Wisconsin prosecutor is pleading with state officials to keep his “sexting” case quiet after he allegedly sent over 30 sexually suggestive messages to a client that he was supposed to be defending. To make matters worse, the client, 26-year-old Stephanie Van Groll, is a domestic abuse victim who sought the help of Attorney Ken Kratz after her boyfriend apparently attempted to choke her to death.
Kratz, 50, admitted to sending over 50 texts to Van Groll while he was the prosecutor for her case last October. According to recent reports, one message read: “want you to be so hot and treat me so well that you’d be THE woman! R U that good?” After three days of sexual harassment, Van Groll reported the messages to the police for fear that Kratz would force her to start a relationship with him or drop her case. The complaint was then referred to the Wisconsin Department of Justice for further review.
E-mail exchanges between justice officials and Kratz that were obtained by the Associated Press show that he repeatedly downplayed the nature of the messages sent to Van Groll and also sought to keep them from the public eye. In fact, he maintained that the texts were a “series of respectful messages” that were not sexual at all. Furthermore, the emails show that Kratz initially refused the DOJ’s instructions for him to resign from the Wisconsin Crime Victims’ Rights Board and report his conduct to the Office of Lawyer Regulation. However, he quickly changed his mind after the DOJ threatened to show the 26 “sext” messages to the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association. Even under increasing pressure from the media and domestic abuse victims’ groups to resign from his post, Kratz continues to resist and instead maintains that he “did nothing illegal” and that he “only cares about the opinion of local voters” who will decide his re-election fate in 2012.