Lawmaker Kramer pleads not guilty to sex assault charges
WAUKESHA (WKOW) -- Former assembly majority leader Rep. Bill Kramer entered not guilty pleas to felony, sexual assault charges Wednesday, and waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
Kramer (R-Waukesha) now faces trial before Waukesha County Judge Donald Hassin.
In waiving his right to have prosecutors present witnesses to demonstrate there was probable cause to believe Kramer committed the crimes, Kramer told Court Commissioner Thomas Pieper he understood what he was doing, and was making the decision freely.
Authorities say Kramer sexually assaulted a legislative aide following a "Pints and Politics" republican event in Muskego in 2011. Authorities say Kramer touched the woman's breasts and forced a kiss on her. Court records state Kramer told a detective he had no interest in touching the woman, as a result of her breasts being surgically enhanced.
Authorities say the woman came forward this year, after two other women claimed Kramer had sexually harassed them in connection with a Washington, D.C. fundraiser. Kramer's republican colleagues stripped him of his leadership position, but Kramer has resisted calls for his resignation. Kramer has filed paperwork showing he will not run for re-election to his legislative post. Kramer's term ends in January.
Kramer's attorney, Eduardo Borda says police reports on the Muskego incident have been reviewed, and he takes issue with statements by witnesses.
Borda says any potential for the sexual assault charges to be resolved through a settlement before trial turns on the prosecutor's view of the case. Assistant Waukesha County District Attorney Debra Blasius was unavailable for comment.
Pieper modified Kramer's bail conditions to bar him only from establishments whose primary business is serving alcohol. Borda had asked for the change, noting Kramer went to Denny's on Mother's Day to host his mother, for fear visiting other restaurants could constitute a bail violation. Kramer's bail also includes an absolute sobriety provision.
Borda waived off questions dealing with any "Madison" matters, such as Kramer's continuing work as a lawmaker.
Borda suggested a jury pool could be poisoned and Kramer's case affected by continued, intense media coverage. "That can be a real issue," Borda says. "People are more interested in the hallway talk, rather than what happened in court. That's what happens." Borda declined to comment on whether Kramer would seek a change of venue.
Kramer's next court appearance is June 18.
For more on the lawmaker's felony case, and his role in the statehouse, visit wkow.com and watch 27 News.
WAUKESHA COUNTY (WKOW) -- The former Majority Leader of the State Assembly will appear in court Thursday morning.
Representative Bill Kramer is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Waukesha County where he faces two charges of second degree sexual assault.
He's accused of groping a woman following a GOP event in Muskego in April 2011 as well as sexually harassing a legislative aid and a lobbyist in connection with a Washington, D.C. fundraiser.
Kramer's Republican colleagues stripped him of his leadership position in March. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have urged him to resign.
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