A group which advocates for the rights of domestic violence victims calls the actions of a Wisconsin district attorney “absolutely unacceptable.” The Associated Press reported that Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz repeatedly “sexted” a domestic abuse victim with whom he tried to spark an affair, while prosecuting her ex-boyfriend last year.
“District Attorney Kratz’s actions were absolutely unacceptable. They were an abuse of power,” said Tony Gibard with the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “The important thing to point out here is that it was not merely a lapse in judgment or an embarrassing situation.” That’s how Kratz, the 50 year-old DA who made text come-ons to the 26 year-old victim, has characterized the situation.
But Gibard said Kratz created a situation in which the victim felt as if she had to submit to his sexual advances in order to get help. “That’s an absolutely unacceptable situation,” he said. “It really plays into the hands of domestic abusers, who constantly tell their victims that no one will believe them, or take them seriously.”
The bureau within the state Justice Department which oversees attorneys did not reprimand Kratz, a Republican who’s up for reelection in two years. “We’re still taking look at that,” said Gibard. “It’s possible that it should have been handled more thoroughly.” The victim complained to Kaukauna police after receiving texts from Kratz for three days. The Department of Justice ended up prosecuting the woman’s boyfriend after Kratz withdrew from the case.