State senator rips judge over former UW student Alec Cook's 3-year sentence for sexual assaults

State senator rips judge over former UW student Alec Cook's 3-year sentence for sexual assaults

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A state senator is taking a judge to task for sentencing a former University of Wisconsin-Madison student accused of sexual assault to three years in prison.

Alec Cook, 22, of Edina, Minnesota, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting three female students as well as choking or stalking two others. He was initially charged with more than 20 crimes against nearly a dozen women.

Cook faced up to 40 years in prison; prosecutors wanted 19 years. Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke gave him three years on Thursday.

Sen. Lena Taylor, a Milwaukee Democrat, said in a statement Friday that Ehlke for some reason thought Cook was special and let him off the hook and questioned the message Ehlke sent to Cook's victims.

State Attorney General Brad Schimel had earlier criticized the sentence as well in a 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,” Schimel said, adding that he hoped the fact that Cook was headed to prison “will give survivors faith that there are people in the criminal justice system who stand ready to fight for justice for them.”

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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