After University of Wisconsin student Alec Cook’s defense attorneys motioned last week to remove a $200,000 cash bail citing the state’s failure to produce new charges, the state added six new charges to the criminal complaint Wednesday.
The most recent criminal complaint, which features new charges of stalking, disorderly conduct and fourth degree sexual assault, contains:
- Seven counts of second degree sexual assault
- Three counts of third degree sexual assault
- Two counts of fourth degree sexual assault
- Two counts of strangulation and suffocation
- Two counts of false imprisonment
- Two counts of stalking
- Three counts of disorderly conduct
Cook now faces 21 counts of varying criminal charges against 10 women. Of the charges, 16 are felonies and five are misdemeanors.
At a previous hearing in October, Assistant District Attorney Colette Sampson told the defense investigators they were pursuing stalking claims made against Cook after seizing various notebooks the state claimed contained alleged “stalking and grooming techniques” for “dozens of potential victims.”
In hopes of “letting the dust settle” and giving the state ample time to file any additional charges, the defense then agreed to a $200,000 cash bail for Cook at an Oct. 27 bail hearing.
In agreeing to a high bail amount, the defense previously said they wanted to have Cook remain in Dane County Jail to avoid back-and-forth trips between Madison and Edina, Minnesota as the state finalized their official charges against him.
Last Thursday, however, Cook’s attorneys, Christopher Van Wagner and Jessa Nicholson, filed a motion to replace the $200,000 bail with a signature bond. Given Cook’s full cooperation with investigators and no prior criminal record, his attorneys said their client was not a flight risk.
In the most recent criminal complaint, two women have come forward alleging Cook stalked them, with one incident going back to September 2015.
According to the complaint, one victim reported Cook continuously staring at her when she was present at the library. From September 2015 to February 2016, she told investigators Cook constantly stared her down when she went to go study, earning him the nickname of “creepy smiley guy in the library” among her friends.
In late January 2016, the same victim reported Cook following her downtown near the Fresh Market grocery store.
In the first two weeks of the 2016 fall semester, another victim reported having a series of uncomfortable interactions with Cook, who she described to have a “menacing nature.”
According to her statement, she told investigators Cook consistently groped her in broad daylight by grabbing her buttocks and slapping her thighs, with his fingers “digging in” at certain times. She also told investigators he made sexual comments that were “skin crawly stuff.”
The new victims who came forward also reported having episodes of stress and anxiety after their interactions with Cook, according to the criminal complaint. Their grades have also suffered, some told investigators.
Cook, currently awaiting possible release at Dane County Jail, will appear for a bail hearing at the Dane County Courthouse Friday at 9 a.m. His preliminary hearing, originally scheduled for Dec. 27, will be pushed back for sometime in January.