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Saturday, May 28, 2022
Three UW-Madison students have accused Alec R. Cook of sexual assault. Madison Police Department is recommending he receive additional charges following the third report.

Three UW-Madison students have accused Alec R. Cook of sexual assault. Madison Police Department is recommending he receive additional charges following the third report.

Third victim comes forward in Cook case

Three victims have come forward in the last week to report Alec R. Cook, a UW-Madison senior, of sexual assault. 

There are currently two cases against Cook and he is facing six counts of second-degree sexual assault, one third-degree sexual assault, three counts of battery and one of both false imprisonment and strangulation.

MPD detectives will recommend that Cook face additional charges of second-degree sexual assault and false imprisonment following the third victim’s report, according to a Madison Police incident report.

 Dean of Students Lori Berquam addressed the situation in a statement Friday.

“Sexual violence is unacceptable in our campus and community. As dean of students, I’m absolutely committed to the safety and well-being of our students, as well as transparency and communication about these topics,” Berquam said. 

Cook is already prohibited from campus grounds. He is also now under emergency suspension from UW-Madison because of “the severity of the allegations and the potential impact on the campus community,” Berquam said Friday. 

The third-reported victim, a 20-year-old woman, said Cook assaulted her in a downtown apartment in 2015. 

The new report came shortly after a second victim came forward to report the suspect of sexually assaulting her last February. 

"I saw the news story and was empowered by another girl being able to tell what happened to her, that I thought I could now finally tell,” she told a detective, according to the report.

Cook turned himself in following the second report.

He was initially arrested Monday after a different 20-year-old female contacted MPD to report that he assaulted her in his North Henry Street apartment. 

The three victims are all UW-Madison students. 

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Cook has also been separated from his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, according to a statement released by the organization. 

The statement said, “The Wisconsin Alpha chapter does not condone any behavior that is disrespectful to women, and violates the principles and values of Phi Delta Theta.”

The fraternity is working with alumni to “navigate” the situation. 

MPD Public Information Officer Joel DeSpain said the investigation is ongoing and individuals are asked to call the Madison Area Crime Stoppers line at 608-266-6014 with information. 

A court date for the first case against Cook has been set for Nov. 7 at the Dane County Circuit Court.

UPDATE Oct. 21 5:02 p.m.: This article was updated to include additional information and a response from Dean of Students Lori Berquam. 

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