Official Investigation Launched for Wisconsin DA Ken Kratz, Accused of Sexting

VIDEO: A third woman alleges that Kenneth Kratz sent her sexually-charged messages.

Two formal complaints have been filed against the Wisconsin district attorney accused of sexually harassing three women over text messages on separate occasions, paving the way for an official investigation that could end in the DA's dismissal.

Calumet County residents Heather Severson and Rev. Kathleen Gloff, neither of whom appear to have any direct connection to any of the "sexting" cases, filed their complaints against Calumet County prosecutor Ken Kratz with the office of Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle.

"Kenneth Kratz has abused his power and his actions constitute inefficiency, neglect of duty, official misconduct or malfeasance," Severson's complaint read. What follows is more than two dozen pages of complaints, many directly quoting from Kratz's text messages to each of the three alleged victims.

"To effectively enforce the laws of our state, Kratz must have the trust of victims in his community," Gloff's complaint said. "I and other citizens of Calumet County have no confidence in Kratz's ability to refrain from abusing his power and engaging in misconduct."

Armed with the complaint, Doyle authorized Bob Jambois of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Office General Counsel to investigate the claims.

Kratz has reportedly been notified of the charges. A public hearing for Kratz was announced, but a date was not given.

Doyle told "Good Morning America" Monday he was waiting on the formal complaint to begin the removal process.

"My reaction was the same as everyone who has worked on these issues over the years that this is just a terrible violation of trust," he said.

Alleged Victim: Likely More Victims

The complaint comes the same day that one of his alleged victims told "GMA" there are likely more women out there that have been subject to Kratz allegedly inappropriate behavior.

"A man like this has got a pattern of abusive behavior of his power," Maria Ruskiewicz, 31, told "Good Morning America" in a live interview. "There is no way we're the only three women out there."

Ruskiewicz claims that Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz began sending her sexually explicit texts in 2008 after the two met about clearing up an old drug charge against her.

"He would say things like, 'I'm in Traverse City with my family. ... Can we meet in between the sheets?'" Ruskiewicz said in describing the texts. She said she did not report the inappropriate contact because she believed her case depended on Kratz's support.

"I was freaked out. I was scared for my future, scared to be stripped of the years I've worked so hard to get this clemency," she said. "I've just received clemency. That's why I'm coming forward."

Ruskiewicz is the third woman to report such sexually charged texting. The first accusation against Kratz came to light last week when The Associated Press published several text messages from Kratz to Stephanie Van Groll, the victim in a domestic violence case Kratz was trying in the fall of 2009. Van Groll, 26, reportedly received texts from Kratz in which he called her a "tall, young, hot nymph" and asked whether she is "the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married elected DA."

Kratz admitted to texting Van Groll and offered his "sincere and heartfelt apology" at a news conference Friday. He also said he had already begun psychotherapy to address the "selfishness" and "arrogance" that led to him contact Van Groll.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...