City News

Cook receives three years in prison for sex crimes

Former UW-Madison student Alec Cook will serve three years in prison after pleading guilty to five felonies which he committed during his time at UW-Madison. 

Image By: Max Bayer

Alec Cook, a former UW-Madison student convicted of sexual assault, was sentenced to three years in prison with an additional eight years of probation Thursday, far less than the maximum 40-year sentence sought by the prosecution.

Cook was arrested in October 2016 after a female student accused him of sexually assaulting her in her apartment. He was later accused by 10 additional women, which lead to his expulsion from UW-Madison in March 2017.

Cook plead guilty to five felonies, three counts of third-degree sexual assault and one count each of strangulation and stalking. He faced a maximum possible prison sentence of 19 years and six months followed by 20 years of extended supervision.

In his sentencing hearing Thursday, the prosecution asked Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke to give Cook the maximum sentence. Cook’s defense attorneys asked that Cook not be given any prison time, instead allowing him to seek professional treatment while on probation.

Following the statements, Cook offered a tearful apology to the victims.

“I’m sorry. I was wrong. You told the truth and everyone should believe you,” he said. “This is my fault. You didn’t deserve this and neither did your families. To them too, I’m sorry.”

Judge Ehlke noted that first-time offenders that plead guilty like Cook do not typically receive prison time in similar cases. Despite this, Ehlke announced that Cook will have to serve three years in prison followed by five years of extended supervision and three additional years of probation.

“The most important thing here today is that the victims’ voices be heard,” said Ehlke, who read statements from several of the victims.

Cook will also have to register as a sex offender for 15 years following the completion of his term.

Cook will not be allowed to have any contact with any of his victims and will not be allowed on any UW campus. 

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