A University of Wisconsin student was charged Thursday with sexually assaulting four women as authorities field dozens of other claims and urge potential victims to come forward.
Alec Cook, 20, entered a no contest plea during a hearing in Dane County Circuit Court, where his bail was set at $200,000, according to NBC News. The business major, who has no criminal history, was charged with 15 counts of sexual assault.
Dozens of women who had previously been silent have accused Cook of stalking and sexual assault since he was first arrested after an attack on Oct. 12. Madison police and the UW-Madison Police Department are investigating the alleged attacks that accusers say took took place from 2015 up until this month. Authorities said he kept a journal of potential victims.
In one incident, a female student told authorities that Cook touched her inappropriately at least 15 different times while the two were taking a ballroom dance class together this year. Cook’s attorneys questioned the validity of the ballroom assaults and said the sexual encounters with the other four women were consensual, according to the Associated Press.
Chris Van Wagner, a lawyer for Cook, on Wednesday urged the public to “wait for the facts before condemning” him. “Keep in mind that not everything you hear is true, and that in the past few years, several grave accusations in similar cases were later proven groundless,” Van Wagner said in a statement.
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