A University of Wisconsin student has been accused of sexually assaulting four women and further investigations are being carried out by the police after more women came forward alleging assault at the hands of the student.
Alec Cook, 20, a graduate of Edina High School, Minnesota, is facing nine charges — including sexual assault, strangulation, battery and false imprisonment — in a case involving a female acquaintance, while additional charges are expected to be filed Thursday after investigators were contacted by “dozens of other females.”
Last week, Cook was arrested by the police after a 20-year-old student said that the junior attempted to strangle her and then raped her while holding her captive in his home for hours. Cook was re-arrested on suspicion of other crimes after three more women accused him of separate instances of assaults after hearing of his arrest.
“I saw the news story and was empowered by another girl being able to tell what happened to her, that I thought I could now finally tell,” police quoted one of the women telling investigators.
Investigations by the authorities led to the discovery of notebooks in his apartment with details about Cook grooming and stalking his victims and his sexual desires.
“The entries went on to document what he wanted to do with the females,” Madison police investigator Grant Humerickhouse told the Star Tribune. “Disturbingly enough, there were statements of ‘kill’ and statements of ‘sexual’ desires.”
Cook has denied the allegations against him and is reportedly cooperating with authorities. His attorney has said that “blind acceptance” of accusations “leads to the stigmatization of innocent people.”
“Much of what has been on Facebook has been character assassination of my client,” Cook’s attorney Christopher Van Wagner told the Star Tribune. “He’s been accused of serious crimes, but the media firestorm has prompted a lot of people to apparently go back and re-examine their relationships with him.”
Cook, who was studying business, has been suspended from the university and banned from the Madison campus. Lori Berquam, dean of students, said in a statement: “Sexual violence is unacceptable in our campus and community. This is a serious case and the university is responding.”
Cook is scheduled to appear Thursday in the Dane County Circuit Court.