The Wisconsin Supreme Court has slapped former Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz with a four-month suspension of his law license and $23,000 in legal fees more than two years after Kratz was charged with sexually harassing a domestic violence victim.
In 2009, Kratz sent dozens of sexually explicit text messages to a woman while he was prosecuting her boyfriend for strangling her.
Beth Schnorr of Harbor House Domestic Abuse services in Appleton said the four-month suspension doesn’t fit the crime, and that it ignores the impact his actions had on the victim.
“He's intimidating and harassing her when she’s already been a victim and now victimized again by someone in a position of power,” said Schnorr. “Four months and then he still gets to practice law after that – wow!“
A spokesman for End Domsetic Abuse Wisconsin, Tony Gibart, agreed with Schnorr.
“The court never acknowledges the wide impact that this atrocious behavior had on the system generally and in particular (on) vulnerable victims of crime.”
After the allegations became public, Kratz resigned as county prosecutor, went through sexual addiction treatment, got divorced, and filed for bankruptcy. Since then, he's started a new law firm specializing in criminal defense.
In a statement released on Friday, Kratz makes no mention of the victims of his actions, but says he's grateful he can still practice law and is working to help other attorneys deal with addictions that they suffer from.
In two concurring opinions in the Kratz ruling, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justice David Prosser called for a thorough review of the way the Office of Lawyer Regulation investigates and prosecutes attorneys for ethical violations.
From: Wisconsin Public Radio