A federal judge will allow a lawsuit against former Wisconsin DA Kenneth Kratz, who is being sued for sexual harassment by a domestic abuse victim that he “sexted.”
In 2010, Stephanie Van Groll filed a civil rights lawsuit against Kratz, a former District Attorney, for sending her sexually suggestive text messages during the time he was handling her domestic abuse case against her boyfriend. She argues that the text messages violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
Kratz filed a motion to dismiss the suit over the summer, arguing that “flirtatious text messages” weren’t enough to prove that her constitutional rights had been violated, and that he should be immune from the suit because the texts were sent during his time serving as a public official.
“The judge disagreed,” Kratz’s attorney Rob Bellin told the Appleton Post-Crescent.
U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ruled that there was sufficient evidence against Kratz, and that he “has not established that pressing [Van Groll] for a sexual relationship through inappropriate text messages is somehow a form of conduct so ‘intimately associated’ with legitimate prosecutorial functions.”
Kratz has admitted to sending Van Groll a series of text messages when he was handling her case in October 2009. Sample texts:
Are u the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married elected DA…the riskier the better? Or do you want to stop right now before any issues?
Hey…Miss Communication, what’s the sticking point? Your low self-esteem and you fear you can’t successfully play in my big sandbox? Or???
Im serious! Im the atty. I have the $350,000 house. I have the 6-figure career. You may be the tall, young, hot nymph, but I am the prize! Start convincing
Kratz resigned as DA in 2010.
After a year-long investigation, the Office of Lawyer Regulation in Wisconsin recently filed a complaint with the state Supreme Court accusing Kratz of violating eleven state rules, and recommended that the state suspend Kratz’s law license for six months.