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Former Prosecutor and Victim Reach Settlement in Sexual Harassment Case
According to federal records, a settlement was reached in a lawsuit filed against a former Calumet County district attorney who was accused of sending sexy text messages to a victim of domestic abuse. The Pioneer Press said that former prosecutor Ken Kratz was accused of sexual harassment by Stephanie Van Groll.
Van Groll said that she received multiple messages, including a couple that propositioned her, while Kratz was prosecuting her ex-boyfriend back in 2009. When The Associated Press reported in 2010 that Kratz tried to start an affair with the woman, he resigned from his position. After the story ran, more women accused Kratz of sexual harassment.
On Tuesday, WLUK reported that the details of the settlement have not been made public. Van Groll was asking for unspecified damages in the lawsuit. The trial was supposed to begin next week in Green Bay. In some of the texts, Kratz called Van Groll a ‘hot nymph’ and described himself as ‘the prize.’ Van Groll told police about the texts, but state prosecutors would not charge him, which led her to file a lawsuit.
In 2011, Kratz requested that the lawsuit be dismissed, claiming that the “flirtatious text messages” he sent were not sufficient enough to support that the constitutional rights of Van Groll were violated. It was recommended by the Office of Lawyer Regulation in Wisconsin that Kratz’s law license be suspended by the state Supreme Court for six months.
Kratz has requested a simply formal reprimand, claiming that he has already suffered enough from the case. He said he deserves the chance to rebuild his career and reputation. No decision has been issued by the court yet.