UPDATE: UW Sex assault suspect faces trial on twenty-one charges - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: UW Sex assault suspect faces trial on twenty-one charges

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  • UW student Cook faces trial on twenty-one charges

    A Dane County judge binds over for trial UW-Madison student Alec Cook on twenty-on criminal charges, including sexual assault and stalking

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    A Dane County judge binds over for trial UW-Madison student Alec Cook on twenty-on criminal charges, including sexual assault and stalking

    More >>

MADISON (WKOW) -- A Dane County judge binds over for trial UW-Madison student Alec Cook on twenty-one criminal charges, including sexual assault and stalking.

Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn's decision Friday came at the conclusion of 20-year old Alec Cook's preliminary hearing.

Earlier, Bailey-Rihn rejected Cook's attempt to have four charges, including felony stalking dismissed.

During the preliminary hearing, Madison Police detectives testified Cook ignored the pleas of at least three, different campus women to stop his sexual advances.  The charges against Cook involve ten women.  In court, the women were simply identified by a number.

Detective Grant Humerickhouse testified one woman told him she and Cook were involved in consensual sex in August, when Cook began strangling her, and she told him to stop.

"And then there were at least four more occasions, when he began strangling her again, Mr. Cook strangling victim number four,"  Humerickhouse testified.  "And she told me, at least two of those, she could not breathe."

Under cross examination, the detectives said several women consented to varying degrees of sexual contact with Cook.

During questioning, Cook's attorneys also noted at least two women and Cook exchanged seemingly innocuous text messages, after Cook had allegedly sexually assaulted them.

"He sees he's got...some things about the case, that are making people question why they brought it," Cook's attorney Christopher Van Wagner said.  "He maintains his innocence, and he, too, cannot wait for trial."

Cook sat through several hours of testimony quietly, with his previously long hair much shorter.

Cook is suspended from school, and free on $100,000 bail, living with his parents in Minnesota.   They attended the hearing.  Cook and his parents left the courtroom with commenting.

*****

MADISON (WKOW) --  A judge has refused to dismiss four of 21 charges against a suspended University of Wisconsin student accused of sexually assaulting and harassing several women. The ruling follows a hearing Friday morning in Dane County court in which Alec Cook's attorneys argued some of Cook's actions were no worse than those of "Happy Days" television character Arthur Fonzarelli.

The four charges the defense attorneys were asking the judge to throw out included two stalking charges, a sexual assault charge and a disorderly conduct charge.

The 21 cases against Cook, 20, date back to March 2015, and also include strangulation and false imprisonment.

Cook's attorneys asked for one stalking charge to be tossed because he only called the alleged victim beautiful and repeatedly put his arm around her, which the attorneys compared to Fonzi's flirting on the TV show.

State attorneys countered, saying evidence standards aren't based on Hollywood's version of a fictional 1950s Milwaukee.

Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn ruled Friday that the charging complaint lays out enough detail to show that Cook's alleged stalking victims suffered emotional distress and that Cook should have known he was causing them stress.

The defense attorneys also failed to convince the judge to dismiss a sexual assault charge and a disorderly conduct charge.

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