- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014
Wisconsin lawmaker charged with sexual assault

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Prosecutors charged former Wisconsin Assembly Majority Leader Bill Kramer on Friday with sexually assaulting a political aide three years ago following a Republican mixer.

Kramer is charged with two counts of second-degree felony sexual assault. He faces up to $200,000 in fines and 80 years in prison if convicted on both charges. He is due to make an initial court appearance on April 14.

According to the criminal complaint, the woman told police earlier this month that Kramer shoved her against her car outside the mixer, tried to kiss her and groped her breasts. He also assaulted her in her car, telling her he wanted to have sex with her, kissing her and groping her, the woman said.

The complaint said Kramer gave different answers about the incident in a telephone interview with a detective this month.

He asked the detective if the woman was the same one who applied for a job in his office, said he had been friends with her and that she had made a pass at him in 2008. He acknowledged kissing her good night but denied groping her, telling the detective the woman “has very nice doctor-enhanced breasts. I am not a big fan of those. I like the real ones.”

Asked if the woman ever told him to stop, he replied, “I am sure she said something about it not going any further. That is why I went home. I am sure that happened, but I don’t remember it. I have been turned down a lot.”

Kramer’s attorney, James Gatzke, said the case will have to run its course.

___

Jury to decide on release in 1989 homicide case

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (AP) - A judge ruled Friday that a jury will decide whether a 50-year-old man should be released from a mental health institution in the 1989 fatal stabbing of his grandfather.

Steven Feck requested the jury trial through his attorney under an old statute in effect during the time of the crime. Before 1990, committed suspects could request trials to determine whether they could be treated in the community.

Portage County Circuit Judge John Finn ruled Friday a jury should decide the case May 1, Stevens Point Journal Media reported (https://spjour.nl/P2OR06).

It has been 25 years since 76-year-old Elton Favell was killed in the kitchen of his mobile home with a pair of scissors. Feck was found fit to stand trial, but after he entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, a psychological evaluation revealed Feck was a paranoid schizophrenic at the time of the killing.

Feck was the committed to the Winnebago Mental Health Institute.

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys will now have to research laws from 1989, when the stabbing occurred.

Defense attorney Adam Raabe and Portage County Assistant District Attorney Veronica Isherwood both said they have no experience in arguing about a mental health release before a jury. The jury’s job will be to determine whether Feck is too dangerous to be released to community supervision, Isherwood said.

___

Wisconsin legislator settles open records lawsuit

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The state will pay $15,000 and a legislator will release more records from a conservative conference she attended to make an investigative group’s lawsuit go away.

The Center for Media and Democracy has asked Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, to turn over records from an American Legislative Exchange Council conference in Oklahoma last May. Vukmir handed over nine pages. CMD sued her in June, alleging she has more documents and demanding she turn them over.

The state Justice Department, which is controlled by Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, defended Vukmir in court. DOJ attorneys argued she was immune from the lawsuit because nobody can sue a sitting lawmaker while the Legislature is in session. That argument stunned open government advocates; they contended that under DOJ’s stance no lawmaker could ever be sued because the Legislature is technically in session year-round.

Under a settlement finalized Friday, CMD agreed to drop the lawsuit and Vukmir agreed to turn over all the documents related to CMD’s request. She said in a statement that multiple searches have yielded more records that didn’t come to light initially due to problems with a Yahoo email search.

“I regret the technical issues we had fulfilling this request, but I have now fulfilled the request and turned over all the records,” Vukmir said in the statement. “Additionally, I have worked to identify the problems we encountered through this process and have taken action to ensure that this will not be an issue in the future.”

The settlement also calls for Vukmir to pay $12,500 in court costs and attorney fees as well as $2,500 in damages. DOJ spokeswoman Dana Brueck said the state will make those payments on her behalf.

CMD attorney Brendan Fischer called the damages “significant.” He said he doesn’t buy Vukmir’s explanation about a faulty computer search and neither would a judge. The DOJ agreeing to pay damages amounts to an acknowledgment of wrongdoing, he said.

___

Man accepts plea deal in 2008 Grand Chute homicide

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) - A man charged in a 2008 Grand Chute homicide has been found guilty after a last-minute plea deal during trial.

Post-Crescent Media reports (https://post.cr/1o8DzqVhttps://post.cr/1o8DzqV ) that hours before the jury was supposed to begin deliberation Thursday in his second trial, Michael Potts accepted the deal and was found guilty of an amended charge of first-degree reckless homicide.

District Attorney Carrie Schneider attorneys came to the last-minute agreement during the jury’s lunch break Thursday.

Prosecutors will recommend a 28-year prison sentence, although Judge Mark McGinnis could still impose the maximum 40-year sentence. McGinnis also found Potts guilty of possessing a firearm as a felon and jumping bail.

Potts said he was thankful and happy. Defense attorney Jeffrey Jazgar said Potts was at peace with the decision after six years.

___

Information from: Post-Crescent Media, https://www.postcrescent.comhttps://www.postcrescent.com


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide