- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Latest on a suspended University of Wisconsin student accused of sexual assault and harassment involving several woman (all times local):

4:10 p.m.

A judge has ordered a suspended University of Wisconsin-Madison student to stand trial on charges that he sexually assaulted and harassed multiple women.

Alec Cook, of Edina, Minnesota, faces 21 charges involving 10 women. The counts include sexual assault, stalking and strangulation. Sixteen counts are felonies; the rest are misdemeanors.

The 20-year-old Cook appeared in Dane County court Friday for a preliminary hearing, the step in the legal process where a judge decides whether there’s enough evidence to proceed to trial on felony counts.

Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Baily-Rihn ruled after an hours-long hearing Friday that the state’s case is plausible and ordered Cook to stand trial on the felony counts. Defendants aren’t entitled to a preliminary hearing on misdemeanor counts.

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12:20 p.m.

A judge has refused to dismiss four charges against a suspended University of Wisconsin-Madison student accused of sexually assaulting and harassing multiple women.

Twenty-one-year-old Alec Cook was in court Friday. He faces a total of 21 charges stemming from cases dating back to March 2015.

His attorneys asked Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn to dismiss two counts of stalking, a sexual assault charge and a disorderly conduct charge. They argued that some of Cook’s actions were no worse than “Happy Days” television character Arthur Fonzarelli’s antics.

State attorneys said evidence standards aren’t based on Hollywood’s version of a fictional 1950s Milwaukee.

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 judge said the charging complaint also provides enough details to support the disorderly conduct and sexual assault counts.

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9 a.m.

A suspended University of Wisconsin student accused of sexually assaulting and harassing several women is asking a judge to dismiss four of the 21 charges against him, arguing that some of his actions were no worse than “Happy Days” television character Arthur Fonzarelli’s antics.

Twenty-year-old Alec Cook is due in court Friday. He’s also charged with stalking, strangulation and false imprisonment in cases dating to March 2015.

Cook says one stalking charge should be tossed because he only called the alleged victim beautiful and repeatedly put his arm around her, which Cook’s attorneys compared to Fonzarelli’s flirting.

Cook also wants the judge to dismiss a sexual assault charge, arguing the alleged victim couldn’t say whether he grabbed or slapped her, along with a disorderly conduct charge for allegedly making sexual remarks in a grocery store and another stalking charge.

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