MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors charged former Wisconsin Assembly Majority Leader Bill Kramer on Friday with sexually assaulting a political aide three years ago following a Republican mixer.
Kramer is charged with two counts of second-degree felony sexual assault. He faces up to $200,000 in fines and 80 years in prison if convicted on both charges. He is due to make an initial court appearance on April 14.
According to the criminal complaint, the woman told police earlier this month that Kramer shoved her against her car outside the mixer, tried to kiss her and groped her breasts. He also assaulted her in her car, telling her he wanted to have sex with her, kissing her and groping her, the woman said.
The complaint said Kramer gave different answers about the incident in a telephone interview with a detective this month.
He asked the detective if the woman was the same one who applied for a job in his office, said he had been friends with her and that she had made a pass at him in 2008. He acknowledged kissing her good night but denied groping her, telling the detective the woman "has very nice doctor-enhanced breasts. I am not a big fan of those. I like the real ones."
Asked if the woman ever told him to stop, he replied, "I am sure she said something about it not going any further. That is why I went home. I am sure that happened, but I don't remember it. I have been turned down a lot."
Kramer's attorney, James Gatzke, said the case will have to run its course.
"We'll complete the investigation," he said, "and hope that people reserve their judgment until all the information is in."
The charges are the latest setback for Kramer, a 49-year-old Waukesha Republican who has represented the ultra-conservative southeastern Wisconsin city since 2006. Assembly Republicans stripped him of his leadership position earlier this month amid allegations he sexually harassed a lobbyist and a Wisconsin legislative staffer while he was in Washington, D.C., for a February fundraiser.
The Legislature's human resources manager is investigating those allegations. Kramer checked himself into a treatment facility on March 1 and isn't seeking re-election in November. Gatzke said he remains in treatment but declined to say where or for what ailment.
According to the complaint, the woman, identified only as D.R., told police on March 5 that Kramer had attacked her after a political event at a Muskego bar on April 8, 2011. The woman said she worked for a senator and knew Kramer well.
During the event, Kramer became drunk, stumbling around and being "more obnoxious than usual," the woman said.
He asked her for a ride, and when they walked to her car, he shoved her into the side of the vehicle so hard her head snapped back, the complaint said. He then leaned into her and began kissing her and groping her. She told him to stop and pushed him away, but he came at her a second time. She pushed him away again and he told her they should get going, the complaint said.
Once they got into the car, he locked the doors and told the woman he wanted to have sex with her, the complaint said. He started kissing her and groping her again despite her pleas for him to stop. The woman told police she was afraid he was going to rape her.
At one point, the woman was able to send a text message asking friends to return to the parking lot, according to the complaint. A female friend who appeared found the woman crying and Kramer standing by his car. The complaint doesn't offer any further details on how the encounter ended.
The woman told investigators the incident was a "nightmare," but didn't report it to authorities because she didn't want to embarrass herself, her family or the Republican Party, according to a police report. When the Washington allegations surfaced, however, she changed her mind, the report said.
Associated Press writer Taylor W. Anderson contributed to this report