The dates of the first three trials and jury selection for former University of Wisconsin-Madison student Alec Cook’s 21-count case were set as of early Friday morning.
Cook is currently facing 23 criminal charges involving 11 women including several counts of sexual assault, strangulation and suffocation, false imprisonment, stalking and disorderly conduct.
Dane County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Ehlke decided to split Cook’s cases into six separate trials to ensure fairness within the jury and trial.
At a press conference at the Dane County Courthouse, the trial for the false imprisonment case was set for December 11, 2017. Jury selection for the first trial involving one of the 11 victims will take place February 26, 2018 and begin a week-long trial.
The hearing for the second and third trial for the two counts of stalking are set for April 10 and 11, with jury selection occurring on April 9, 2018.
In a press release from Cook’s attorneys, Christopher T. Van Wagner and Jessa Nicholson said they will focus on challenging police work within the case involving a potentially illegal search in Cook’s apartment and an illegal search warrant. They will also request the trials be moved to other counties to ensure an unbiased jury, although the case has garnered a great deal of media attention outside of Dane County.
A timeline of Alec Cook’s criminal complaints, legal proceedingsUniversity of Wisconsin student Alec Cook has been formally charged with 15 counts of multiple charges spanning from sexual assault to Read…
The attorneys attribute Cook’s negative media portrayal to a prosecutor who “prompted a frenzied firestorm of inaccurate news reports and social media hysteria wrongly depicting Alec Cook as a danger and campus menace, before he had even been formally charged.”
Dates for the remaining trials will be set later in 2018.