More Charges For University of Wisconsin Student Accused in Sex Assaults
Alec Cook of Edina, Minnesota, faces 21 charges
Prosecutors on Thursday filed six additional criminal charges against Alec Cook, the 20-year-old University of Wisconsin-Madison student who faces allegations of sexual assault from multiple women.
Court records obtained by PEOPLE confirm the new charges — two for stalking, three for disorderly conduct and a single fourth-degree sexual assault count — follow recent complaints filed by six of Cook’s alleged victims. In total, he faces 21 charges.
Cook was released from police custody on Friday after the judge hearing his case lowered his bail from $200,000 to $100,000. One of his attorneys, Chris Van Wagner, tells PEOPLE Cook posted bail soon after Friday’s hearing. He is already on his way home, Van Wagner says.
Cook, an Edina, Minnesota, native, was arrested in mid-October when a female college student came forward to accuse him of assault. Van Wagner says his client is innocent of the charges.
“These charges are very weak on their face and we will be filing motions to dismiss these new counts and some of the older counts,” Van Wagner says. He has until Cook’s next court date on Jan. 20, 2017, to file those motions.
“We will aggressively contest these charges every step of the way, from now through the trial,” Van Wagner tells PEOPLE.
Local news reports about his arrest allegedly prompted other women to contact investigators with similar allegations that Cook overpowered them, taking liberties during sexual encounters they had initially consented to. Another woman alleges he touched her improperly during a dance class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
According to court records, the felony stalking charges stem from incidents involving two women who say Cook allegedly followed them on campus or would often appear in places they were known to frequent and stared at them. Both alleged victims told police they has asked Cook to stop.
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Cook, who was a junior majoring in business, was charged with sexual assault and disorderly conduct for an alleged September incident, according to court documents. A woman alleges that Cook followed her, groping and slapping her behind as she tried to flee.
Court records show the additional two disorderly conduct charges stem from alleged encounters in May and July.
One complainant alleged Cook approached her in a supermarket on May 6 and asked her sexually-charged questions she called “very upsetting” and “disturbing,” according to court records.
Another woman alleged Cook complimented her on her body inside a campus gym last July before grabbing her, spinning her around, and dipping her. Court records allege he told her he had “let go of societal norms a long time ago.”