Prosecutors have charged former UW-Madison student Alec Cook with another felony, this one for allegedly cornering a woman in the laundry room of a dormitory in 2014, bringing to 11 the number of women who said that Cook sexually assaulted or harassed them.
The charges, false imprisonment and disorderly conduct, were filed on May 30, according to state court records, but the new case and the criminal complaint were not made visible to the public until Wednesday.
The incident would be the oldest among those described in charges against Cook, who was previously charged with 21 criminal counts involving 10 women. The earliest of those alleged incidents, in which women told police that Cook had sexually assaulted or harassed them, was in March 2015, according to court records.
Cook appeared in court Thursday with his lawyers, Chris Van Wagner and Jessa Nicholson, where a signature bond was set. Cook waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the case.
At a hearing later in the day, state Assistant Attorney General Christopher Liegel said he intends to merge the new case into the larger, 21-count case. No trial dates were set, and instead Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke set briefing deadlines and a motion hearing to determine whether the anticipated 23-count case would be broken up into smaller, separate cases.
A hearing on that will be held Sept. 8, when trial dates are expected to be set.
Cook was expelled from UW-Madison, and his expulsion became final last week.
According to the complaint in the new case:
The woman told police in March that she was stalked by Cook, of Edina, Minnesota, whom she met in July 2014 while attending UW-Madison student orientation.
She told police that she and Cook exchanged text messages throughout the summer. She said that after students moved into the dorms Cook would text her several times per day, asking where she was or what she was doing. She said he would also follow her around campus.
The complaint states that it got to be “too much” for the woman, who found it “weird and annoying.”
After classes began, she said, Cook would come to her dorm room uninvited and wouldn’t take verbal cues to leave.
In mid-September 2014, she told police, she was alone in the basement of her residence hall on the UW-Madison campus doing laundry and turned to find Cook standing there. She said he walked into the room and positioned himself between her and the door, causing her to become “really scared.”
She told police she tried several times over the course of nearly a half hour to move past Cook, but he would step in front of her. She told police that she felt trapped.
“She described Cook as having this alpha presence and he looked at her as if to say, ‘You’re not leaving,’ ” the complaint states.
Two male friends of the woman eventually appeared and Cook left. The friends told the woman that they went looking for her, concerned because Cook had been looking for her.