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Rep. Bill Kramer charged with sexual assault

Embattled legislator accused of groping woman in 2011

April 1, 2014

Rep. Bill Kramer was charged Friday, March 28, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with two counts of second-degree sex assault, accused of using force to grope a legislative aide at a 2011 event in Muskego.

Kramer, 49, has represented the 97th Assembly District since 2006 and was named Republican majority leader in September 2013. He was ousted from the position earlier this month over allegations that he sexually harassed one woman and inappropriately touched another on a trip to Washington, D.C.

Kramer is a lifelong resident of Waukesha. If convicted, he faces up to 80 years in prison and $200,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, the woman contacted the City of Muskego Police Department on March 5 to report the alleged sex assault. She told police that the incident took place in April 2011 at a "Pints and Politics" event in Muskego hosted by the Republican Party of Waukesha County.

Kramer attended the event and was "really drunk and was sloppy, stumbling, louder and more obnoxious than usual," according to the complaint.

The alleged victim told police in the complaint that she agreed to give Kramer a ride to another location. In the parking lot, Kramer allegedly shoved her against her car and forcibly kissed her and grabbed her breasts, the complaint states. The woman said she told him no several times, but he persisted until she was eventually able to shove him away.

The woman said she was "shocked, numb and not thinking clearly," according to the complaint.

Inside the car, Kramer grabbed her groin and tried to expose her breasts, the complaint states. She said she then sent a text message to friends asking that they return to the bar.

Keith Best, vice chairman of the Republican Party in Waukesha County, said he had known both the woman and Kramer for several years. He told police in the complaint that the woman was extremely upset and distraught after the incident.

Best said last week that he did not wish to comment on the matter.

The woman said she did not contact police immediately because she feared embarrassing herself, her family or the Republican Party, the complaint states. She contacted an attorney and sent a letter to Kramer that said he should avoid contact with her.

"...She wants you to understand that she has been severely impacted emotionally as a result of your actions, and she wants to ensure that it not happen again to her or to another," the letter states.

The woman told police that she decided to pursue charges after hearing about the accusations in Washington, D.C.

According to the complaint, Kramer told police that he would not be able to meet with detectives until April because he was in therapy. He claimed the woman had previously kissed him and said, "I kissed her good night maybe," the complaint states.

He changed his statement several times when asked whether he grabbed her breasts.

"[the victim] has very nice doctor-enhanced breasts," he told police in the complaint. "I am not a big fan of those; I like the real ones."

The charges against Kramer were referred to the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office on Wednesday, March 26.

District Attorney Brad Schimel said then that he was not involved in reviewing the charges against Kramer. Schimel, a candidate for attorney general, had previously donated to charity a $500 donation he had received from Kramer.

Kramer filed paperwork last week with state election authorities saying he would not seek re-election.

He is expected to make an initial appearance in court on Monday, April 14.

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