A county prosecutor in Wisconsin has rebuffed calls to resign following revelations he sent a crime victim 30 racy text messages that among other things referred to her as a “tall, young, hot nymph.”
The criticism was leveled at Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz, who pledged on Friday to seek individual psychotherapy for the “issue,” but said he had no plans to step down. On Monday, he said he'd go on medical leave and was also hiring an attorney to fight a move to force him from office.
“He's the first to admit this was quite a mistake, but it shouldn't really define his career,” attorney Robert J. Craanen, told the Associated Press. “And he's been a great DA.”
Kratz, 50, began sending the sext messages to the then 25-year-old Stephanie Van Groll just minutes after he met her last year to discuss charges filed against her boyfriend for nearly strangling her to death.
“I'm the attorney,” he wrote in one text. “I have the $350,000 house. I have the six-figure career. You may be the tall, young, hot nymph, but I am the prize.” In other messages, he asked if she was “the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married elected DA,” and questioned whether her low self-esteem was to blame for her lack of interest in him.
A chorus of prosecutors and victim advocacy groups have trounced Kratz for sending the messages, which came as his office was prosecuting Van Groll's boyfriend for felony strangulation. (He was later convicted). Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle has said he's appalled by the messages and will begin a formal process to remove the 18-year veteran prosecutor.
A second woman has now come forward and accused Kratz of inviting her to a woman's autopsy “provided I would be his girlfriend and would wear high heels and a skirt.” ®
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