Former UW Student Pleads Guilty To Sexual Assault Charges

Alec Cook Enters Plea For 5 Felonies Involving Different Women For Incidents That Took Place On Or Near Campus

Dane County court house
Cathy Stanley-Erickson (CC BY-ND 2.0)

A former University of Wisconsin-Madison student accused of a series of sexual assaults pleaded guilty to five felony charges Wednesday in Dane County Court.

Under the plea agreement, 21-year-old Alec Cook will also have to register as a sex offender.

Prior to the plea agreement, Cook, of Edina, Minnesota, faced 23 charges for alleged incidents which police say took place on or near campus.

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Alec Cook. Dane County Sheriff’s Office via AP

Cook was convicted in the plea hearing on three counts of third-degree sexual assault, and a single count each of strangulation and stalking over the course of two years. Those counts involved five different women.

The first woman went to police in 2016 after an incident she described as initially consensual, but turned violent. More women then came forward.

As the number of accusers increased, Cook was suspended by campus officials and later expelled after a disciplinary hearing.

The plea agreement precludes seven trials Cook was set to have, the first which was set to take place Monday in Jefferson County. A change of venue was ordered to because of the amount of publicity surrounding the case.

Cook will be sentenced after the state Department of Corrections conducts a pre-sentence investigation.

There is no agreement between Cook’s lawyers and prosecutors as to the length of the sentence.