Criminal Justice

Sexting Prosecutor Wants Immunity

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You have to at least admire his chutzpah.

The former Wisconsin district attorney who resigned amid a sexting scandal says he's immune from a lawsuit filed by a crime victim who claims she was sexually harassed by him.

Ken Kratz says he was a public official at the time of the alleged harassment and is claiming both absolute immunity and qualified immunity.

Those are legal doctrines that shield government officials in certain cases from being sued for a violation of a person's constitutional rights.

Kratz's argument was filed Friday in a response to a federal lawsuit filed by Stephanie Van Groll.

Kratz admitted sending suggestive text messages to Van Groll while he was prosecuting her ex-boyfriend. At least four other women have said Kratz made inappropriate sexual advances toward them.

Bonus points: Kratz was prosecuting the woman's boyfriend for domestic abuse.

Even in the consequence-free world of absolute prosecutorial immunity, I don't think this is going to fly. I would think that even a group like the National District Attorneys Association would concede that sending sexual come-ons to the girlfriend of a suspect falls outside the scope of a prosecutor's official duties. Of course, under current law, manufacturing evidence in a case that results in the conviction of an innocent person does. So who knows.

Another gem from Kratz's response:

…if any injuries were suffered by the Plaintiff, all such injuries and damages were caused by her own conduct, negligence and behavior…

You can read a sampling Kratz's text messages here. He's quite charming.

(UPDATE: Link fixed.)