Legal Ethics

Law Student Says Embattled DA Texted Her, Too; He Denies Seeking Autopsy Date with Another Accuser


An embattled Wisconsin prosecutor is now being accused by a law student of sending her harassing text messages over a year ago, after he agreed to help her seek a pardon in a decade-old drug case.

The woman, Maria Ruskiewicz, alleges that Calument County District Attorney Ken Kratz sent her text messages, including one asking how she could please him in bed, after she sought his help with the pardon in 2008, reports the Associated Press.

An administrator for Oklahoma City University School of Law confirms meeting with Ruskiewicz in 2008 to discuss her concern about the text messages, the article says.

“The reason why I’m coming forward is he abuses his power, not only with women, but with women in certain situations who are extremely vulnerable to his authority,” the 31-year-old Ruskiewicz told the news agency.

A lawyer for Kratz says he knows nothing about the new allegations.

Two other women also have recently accused Kratz of inappropriate conduct, putting him on the hot seat as critics including the Wisconsin state governor have called for him to step down or be removed from office.

Meanwhile, an earlier Associated Press article says Kratz attorney Bob Craanen has denied as “completely bogus” an allegation that the DA invited another woman on an autopsy date.

Kratz did go on a date with the woman—who he reportedly met through an online dating service, rather than through his work—but never asked her to attend an autopsy with him, according to Craanen.

Kratz admittedly sent text messages to a domestic abuse victim, but he and his counsel have called this a mistake that shouldn’t drive him from office as a prosecutor. At last report, he was taking a medical leave from his job but was not going to step down.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “DA Sexts Domestic Abuse Victim, Informs Her ‘I am the Prize’”

ABAJournal.com: “DA Who Texted Abuse Victim Takes Leave; Gov Seeks His Removal, Citing Claimed Autopsy Date Request”

Updated at 2:10 p.m. to include information from updated Associated Press article.

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