'Dozens' of Women Come Forward After Wisconsin Student's Rape Arrest: Cops
A disturbing rape case at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has turned into a much larger investigation as reports say a number of additional women have come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct.
Student Alec Cook now faces 15 counts of sexual assault stemming from his alleged inappropriate touching of a classmate who made the claims after his initial arrest earlier this month, campus police said.
This first accuser told police that Cook, 20, sexually assaulted her for hours and choked her to the point of near unconsciousness, according to a criminal complaint.
According to a campus police report, a second accuser came forward after news of the first emerged.
"I saw the news story and was empowered by another girl being able to tell what happened to her, that I thought I could now finally tell," the accuser told police.
In the second case, the suspect was arrested for two counts of second degree sexual assault and one count of third degree sexual assault.
A third victim, a 20-year-old Madison woman, has since reported being sexually assaulted by the suspect in a downtown apartment last year, in 2015.
According to the Star-Tribune, Madison police say "dozens" of other women have contacted them with claims about Cook.
Madison police Detective Grant Humerickhouse said investigators found a black leather book during a search of Cook's apartment in which the suspect allegedly wrote women's names followed by descriptions of what he liked about them.
"The entries went on to document what he wanted to do with the females," Humerickhouse told the Star-Tribune. "Disturbingly enough, there were statements of ‘kill’ and statements of ‘sexual’ desires."
As the investigation continues, Cook has been suspended from the university and is banned from setting foot on campus.
Cook has denied the allegations, his attorney, Christopher Van Wagner, said following the women's claims in court this week.
Cook’s attorney, Christopher Van Wagner, cast doubt on the women's claims in court this week.
"Much of what has been on Facebook has been character assassination of my client," said Van Wagner said. "He’s been accused of serious crimes, but the media firestorm has prompted a lot of people to apparently go back and re-examine their relationships with him."
Cook remains in Dane County Jail and is due in court Thursday for a bond hearing.