Former UW-Madison student Alec Cook pleads guilty to five charges including sexual assault

On Wednesday, Alec Cook pleaded guilty to five felonies, which include three charges of sexual assault

Alec Cook, from Edina, Minnesota, appeared in court on Wednesday to take a plea deal, pleading guilty to five felonies, including three counts of third-degree sexual assault. The original 23 charges would have landed him seven separate trials involving 11 victims.

While he didn't say much during his court appearance, mainly answering "yes" and "no" to the judge, he said "guilty" when asked for his pleas to the five charges he is convicted of. In total he pleaded guilty to 3 sexual assault charges and to one strangulation and one stalking charge.

The judge ordered a pre-sentence investigation which will involve possibly hearing statements from the victims.

Cook faces a maximum of 10 years of combined prison and supervision for the third-degree sexual assault convictions, up to six years for the strangulation charges and around four years for the stalking conviction.

Until his hearing, he remains free on $100,000 bond.

Cook was charged in 2016 and 2017 with a whopping 23 criminal counts that involved over 10 counts of sexual assault, stalking, disorderly conduct, and false imprisonment. It is said most of the cases took place on the UW-Madison campus between 2015 and 2016.

The initial charge was of second and third-degree sexual assault in October of 2016 after a woman told police their initially consensual kissing and touching quickly turned into forced sex. This was only the beginning of the massive number of charges against Cook.

Prosecutors characterized Cook as one who used specific methods to have sex with as many women as possible, seeming to "enjoy their fear, discomfort, and lack of consent". In addition, notebooks were seized from Cook's apartment containing detailed plans of what he intended to do to women, however, the judges ruled these notebooks could not be used in the trial.

If you or anybody you know is suffering from any type of sexual assault, dating violence or stalking, contact UWPD or DAIS (Domestic Abuse Intervention Services) at (608) 251-4445.

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