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Ken Kratz, "Sexting Prosecutor," Resigns; Tried to Start Affair with Domestic Abuse Client

Domestic abuse victim Stephanie Van Groll and Calumet County, Wisc. District Attorney Kenneth Kratz are seen in file photos. (AP Photo)

MADISON, Wisconsin (CBS/AP)  Wisconsin prosecutor Ken Kratz, who tried to "sext" his way to an affair with a domestic violence victim he represented, resigned in disgrace Monday.

The Calumet County District Attorney said in a statement to the media that he has lost the confidence of the people he represents, "primarily due to personal issues which have now affected my professional career."

Kratz said he is receiving treatment for "these conditions" outside Wisconsin, but did not elaborate. He said he hopes to repair his reputation and practice law in the future. He also apologized to his family for the "embarrassment and shame" he has caused them.

"They remain supportive of my efforts to seek professional help, and I will be a better person as a result," the statement said.

The Associated Press reported last month that Kratz sent 30 text messages to a 26-year-old domestic abuse victim, Stephanie Van Groll, while he prosecuted her ex-boyfriend on a strangulation charge. The 50-year-old Kratz called the woman a "hot nymph" and asked if she would enjoy secret contact with a married district attorney.

  Van Groll complained to police about the harassment and Kratz was removed from the case.

Several other women have come forward with accusations Kratz used his position to try to start relationships with them since the AP reported the text messages.

The state Justice Department investigated Kratz but found the text messages were not illegal. The state Office of Lawyer Regulation closed the case against Kratz in March without a formal review. The office last month reopened the case, though, amid a barrage of criticism against Kratz following the AP's stories.

Until now, Kratz had been best known for convicting Steven Avery in 2007 in a photographer's death. The case got national attention because Avery committed the homicide shortly after he was freed from prison, where he spent 18 years for a rape he didn't commit.

Kratz was a longtime chairman of the Wisconsin Crime Victims' 'Rights Board, which investigates and sanctions public officials who violate crime victims' rights. Kratz resigned the leadership post in December under pressure from state officials.

Complete Coverage of "Sexting D.A." on Crimesider


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