Verdicts & Settlements

Sexting lawsuit against ex-district attorney is settled

A sexual harassment lawsuit against former Wisconsin District Attorney Ken Kratz by a domestic abuse victim whose ex-boyfriend he was prosecuting has been settled.

No details of the settlement, first reported Tuesday by WLUR-TV, have been released, the Associated Press reports.

But the alleged victim, Stephanie Van Groll, had accused Kratz of sending her a barrage of racy text messages in 2009, while he was prosecuting her ex-boyfriend for domestic abuse. More women later came forward and accused Kratz of sexually harassing them.

Kratz, who resigned in 2010 after the allegations came to light, pleaded no contest last year to several ethics charges with the state’s Office of Lawyer Regulation, which has recommended a six-month suspension of his law license. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has yet to act on the recommendation.

Neither Kratz’s nor Van Groll’s attorneys responded to phone messages seeking comment on the settlement, the AP reports.

Kratz had previously sought to have the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that his “flirtatious text messages” to the woman didn’t justify her assertion that her constitutional rights had been violated. But a judge ruled that the lawsuit could proceed.

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