Former UW student sentenced to 3 years for assaults

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A judge on Thursday sentenced a former University of Wisconsin-Madison student to three years in prison for sexually assaulting three female students and choking or stalking two others.

Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke also sentenced Alec Cook, 22, of Minnesota to eight years of extended supervision once he’s released from prison. Cook pleaded guilty to the charges in February.

Prosecutors were seeking 19 years behind bars, while defense attorneys sought probation with the possibility of jail time.

Ehlke said he had to give Cook credit for having no criminal record, no bail violations and sparing the victims a trial. The judge said he hoped that the end of criminal proceedings against Cook would “give closure” to the victims, the Wisconsin State Journal reported .

In court, Cook tearfully apologized to the women, telling them that what happened was not their fault.

“I’m sorry. I was wrong,” Cook said. “You told the truth and everyone should believe you. This is my fault. You didn’t deserve this. And neither did your families. To them, too, I’m so sorry.”

One victim said in her impact statement, “Part of me died in order to survive that night with him and that part of me will never grow back,” WKOW-TV reported .

Cook, a former UW-Madison business student, was initially charged with more than 20 crimes.

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