“I Am The Prize”: Former Wisconsin District Attorney Takes Plea in Sexual Harassment Ethics Case

Kenneth Kratz, a former Wisconsin district attorney, has pleaded guilty in a legal ethics case  for his alleged sexual harassment of multiple women. The allegations included text messages to a domestic abuse victim.  In text messages, he told a woman that she might be “hot” but, due to his large house and salary, “I am the prize.” If so, the Office of Lawyer Regulation won the prize with pleas on three counts.

Kratz wrote women suggestive text messages like “Are you the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married elected DA … the riskier the better?” Another received this lovely missive: “I’m the attorney. I have the $350,000 house. I have the six-figure career. You may be the tall, young, hot nymph, but I am the prize.”

It is certainly true that I have been out of the market for about two decades but I don’t remember bringing real estate estimates to bare as a pick up line. Of course, I would never think that inviting a woman to the morgue to check out a dead girl was a turn on — a prosecutorial version of “would you like to come up stairs to look at my etchings.” Kratz was accused of learning pick up lines from the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

At a hearing on Tuesday, the OLR is expected to seek a six-month suspension of the ex-Calumet County DA’s law license, and Kratz is expected to ask for lesser punishment.

No criminal charges were brought even though he was accused of forcing a woman he prosecuted to have sex with him.

Other charges will be dropped as a result of the plea and Kratz issued a statement that he was “doing everything within my power to put this ordeal behind me.” He may be premature. The bar prosecutors are seeking a six-month suspension.

Kratz resigned from his $105,000 district attorney post in October 2010 after the disclosure of 30 text messages to a 25-year-old woman in 2009. They were to a domestic abuse victim that Kratz called a “hot nymph.” She filed a police complaint but saw no charges.

Source: ABC as first seen on ABA Jounral

22 thoughts on ““I Am The Prize”: Former Wisconsin District Attorney Takes Plea in Sexual Harassment Ethics Case”

  1. Woosty,

    or maybe it was Woosy as I first wrote,
    From the heat.

    Take away humidity and sticky, and you get Tucson AZ.

    Adding some peccaries in the yard, a scorpion or two, OH!, you have them too, and you have it perfectly.
    So says my friend in AZ.

    You’ve got possums you say!
    She says she’ll send you some peccaries. They’ll eat up both the possums and retirees.

    How far to the nearest alligator? Cape Disney? Red-faced retiree? Red-necks? Tin can town? Your departure?

    Weather in Stockholm today? Same as yesterday, just hasn’t started raining yet, A ray of sun peek through to laugh and disappear. My green skin fungus is growing fine. TheY’RE gonna exhibit me as the “Living Statue” if it grows more.

    It was such a display of prime lamb at the sidewalk cafés, now missing since weeks.

    Most unique summer, it’s usually sunny, until it’s your vacation time.
    They’re keeping Arlanda airport open for the departing tourists.

    Cool? Delicious and invigorating. Perfect for old crabby men on meds.

    My friend still prefers it there. They got a Dem, replacement for Gifford, and she plus family got to meet Al Franken at the Mayor’s for a fund raiser.

  2. Ooops, literary error.

    The game of the capon is for the insomnia plague.
    The rains were just rains.

  3. Sounds like “100 Years of Soliltude” in Stockholm.

    Soon they may have to play “the game of the capon” all night…

  4. It is raining for the 40th straight day in Stockholm.
    ————–
    are you for serious???
    I would love some cloudy rainy drizly days w/coolness….. Florida is sticky, hot, humid, and the #*#%@%^$!& sun shines all the time….
    I’ll bet it’s cool there….

  5. It is raining for the 40th straight day in Stockholm.
    No doves in sight. The lions ate the lambs last night.
    Saw an uprooted olive tree float by yesterday.
    Outlook poor.
    Tell Obama to pull the plug soon.

  6. It burns more than that, also clogs your arteries to boot.

    Physicist at quantum level ponder the entanglement of “things”. I wonder how entangled our “affairs” are?

    At what point does corruption of the system prevent anything honest or as nominally intended from happening?

    Are optimists fools? How evil does a man have to be to become President? What torture would make George tell the truth? Scalie does it unwittingly.

    What brainpower does it take to keep account of all the lies you have to cover for, not only your own but others also? We could be on Proxima Centauri if diverted to useful purposes.

    When will MIkeS tell us who he’s working for and when he plans the revolution to occur?
    Which Teabagger will cast the first shoe at Obama?
    Who will be the first Senator to imitate Kruschev?

    Feel free to add your own……

  7. Lottakatz, the prosecutor who made the decision not to prosecute the alleged rapist prosecutor has prosecutorial discretion. He’s protected by absolute immunity. Once again I wish there were a real value to using 42 USC 1981 or even 1983 to good purpose (the purpose it was written for) but there are precious few US Attorneys who would bother with anything more important than Edward’s love life. More’s the pity, but so tired of outrage — although, on the good side, it probably burns calories.

  8. “No criminal charges were brought even though he was accused of forcing a woman he prosecuted to have sex with him.”

    Whoever the prosecutor is that made that decision needs to be in the dock before the OLR too. An allegation like this needs full investigation and charges if true.

  9. Juris, the bar counsel is notorious for the “slap on the wrist” to anyone with power while socking it all to Hell to the little sole practitioner who goofed up because of the pressures of a difficult practice. Here’s a great article:

    http://scholars.law.unlv.edu/nlj/vol12/iss2/2/

    When I read this, it was like a fresh shower to someone who had been thrown in a sewer and shot several times from above. I phoned the woman who wrote the article, and e-mailed her, and she responded, and we may be able to start a conversation in July. I hope so.

    Meanwhile, although I am known as “anti-attorney,” that is not really true. Some of my best friends are attorneys. I don’t say that ONLY because it is humorous, but also because it is true. Yet right now I’m suing some attorneys. It is grim and horrible and it has sickened me so much that I have ended up in the E.R., but I also feel so compelled to do it that I cannot imagine finishing my life without finishing the suit. But just today, the thought came to me that there were two different levels of wrongdoing that had occurred by the two individuals who are 2 out of 3 of the defendants. The associate meant to do the wrong; the partner did not; he just did not supervise and still doesn’t understand what happened. I am convinced he has been so swept up in defensiveness (by the process) that he is unable to see and appreciate what he did. And yesterday, I got what I believe is written proof of that; and he doesn’t know about it, and something came over me. I thought, “What would happen if I called him, as party to party (because an attorney can only call an attorney but I am the party, and he is the other party) and said to him, ‘listen to me and hear me out and look at what is in my hand that shows what actually happened’? Would he listen, would he want to restore himself — or would he refuse to speak about it, and return this to the horrifying, harmful and nauseating proceeding that it is?”

    Guess what, I think the profession itself, by means of the disciplinary structure that is basically a fraud and a secret fraud at that, has prevented itself from being restored. It has become so psychopathic, so inherently adversarial TOWARDS ITS OWN CONSUMERS, so utterly sunk in self-defensive and inappropriate casuistry, that it is unsalvageable, like our Congress. Any entity (congress, presidency, agency) that puts its own survival above its own function cannot help but go there.

    This judge is just a punk who has been elevated to super-punk by his office. What a shame, and it is bar counsel’s shame, and it is a permanent stain.

  10. This guy is a disgrace to our profession… and the bar disciplinary counsel is seeking a mere 6 mo. suspension. The profession needs a serious character cleansing. Still, I have read of many others getting disbarred for far less. I would be up in arms if I was part of the local bar there in Wisconsin.

  11. He’s trying to impress women with a $350,000 house? Maybe I’m jaded, but even after the foreclosure debacle, here in Chicagoland. that would be a 3 bedroom split-level starter house, with a small lot. Maybe this guy lives in an impoverished area where this is swanky, but still. He sounds like the type that wears polyester shirts unbuttoned to the navel, gold chain necklaces (with medallions!), leather pants, and looks in the mirror and thinks “HOT!”

  12. Woosty, it’s only rape if a prosecutor (who has absolute immunity) chooses to bring charges and then successfully prosecutes so that there is a conviction. Before that happens there is only:

    alleged rape, if the victim alleges it and the prosecutor charges the perp; or
    consensual sex, if the prosecutor does not charge the perp.

    But this passage intrigued me:

    “No criminal charges were brought even though he was accused of forcing a woman he prosecuted to have sex with him.

    “Other charges will be dropped as a result of the plea and Kratz issued a statement that he was “doing everything within my power to put this ordeal behind me.” He may be premature. The bar prosecutors are seeking a six-month suspension.

    “Kratz resigned from his $105,000 district attorney post in October 2010 after the disclosure of 30 text messages to a 25-year-old woman in 2009. They were to a domestic abuse victim that Kratz called a “hot nymph.” She filed a police complaint but saw no charges.”

    The first paragraph mentions forced sex with a defendant he PROSECUTED. Oh now that’s a twist on the old game, isn’t it? Was it, “I’ll take a plea deal if you…” or was it, “If you don’t…I’ll overcharge you all to hell and you’ll never get out of prison” or was it some variety of the same?

    The 25-year-old woman in the third paragraph came from HIS SIDE of the fence, though. Yet the complaint she filed resulted in “no charges.”

    And the punishment is six months that he cannot practice law?

    Flip this whole scene. Make it a female prosecutor forced to have sex by a defendant she prosecuted. Would charges be drawn?

    Make it a female prosecutor who received 30 harassing e-mails from a male complaining witness. Would charges be drawn?

    Six months off and then he’s a lawyer again? Wants to put this behind him?

    Why don’t we lock him up with Judge Cebull’s mother and a dog?

  13. “No criminal charges were brought even though he was accused of forcing a woman he prosecuted to have sex with him.”
    —————————————–
    Is this not rape????

  14. Now you see what TV does to our nation’s morals.

    Oh, sorry, you mean the morals came first? Perhaps so.

    Perhaps we need to de-ball all DA candidates, you know, to make their justice to be “blind”.

  15. Permanent disbarment and then “rebarment”… in a jail cell, if the allegations are true.

  16. Permanent disbarment sounds good to me. He’s a predator. He’s unlikely to stop, especially if he gets just a slap on the wrist.

  17. “No criminal charges were brought even though he was accused of forcing a woman he prosecuted to have sex with him.”

    To me this is grounds for having him permanently disbarred.

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