One Wisconsin Now
Press Release

Brad Schimel as Prosecutor on Sexual Assault Cases: Light Sentences and Alarming Comments About Victims

In One Case Schimel Downplayed Assault Telling Judge, ‘It Was Basically a First Date’

By - Sep 25th, 2018 01:10 pm
Brad Schimel. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

Brad Schimel. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin top cop Brad Schimel continues to stand by Donald Trump’s pick for a lifetime seat on the U.S. Supreme Court despite multiple, credible accusations he sexually assaulted women. Schimel also refused to speak out when Trump attacked one of the victims on social media. A news report today adds disturbing context to Schimel’s current coddling of an accused assault perpetrator detailing two cases in which Schimel as a prosecutor sought light sentences and made disturbing statements about the victims.

“I don’t know what is more alarming, Brad Schimel’s questionable statements in court years ago or his failure to speak up now as Donald Trump and others attack the victim of a sexual assault to try to get their pick on the U.S. Supreme Court,” said One Wisconsin Now Research Director Joanna Beilman-Dulin. “But what I do know is that Brad Schimel has failed to treat victims with respect then and now.”

One of the cases cited by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report was State of Wisconsin vs. Sean Kebbekus:

Kebbekus was 17 and the girl was 15. According to the criminal complaint, she agreed to go to a party with him, but he instead drove her to a cul-de-sac and took off his pants. He removed her clothing and began having sex with her. She loudly told him to stop several times and he stopped. He told her if she told anyone about it he would do it again, according to the complaint. Schimel recommended three to five years of probation for Kebbekus.”

According to court records from the case obtained by One Wisconsin Now, Schimel attempted to downplay the circumstances of the assault because the perpetrator and victim were close in age. He also went on to say, “I’m also concerned that this was basically a first date. He contacted the victim and invited her to go along [to a party], and she agreed to go along.”

She noted the trial judge apparently did not agree with Schimel, giving the perpetrator a more severe sentence that the one proposed by Schimel.

Beilman-Dulin concluded, “Even suggesting that being close in age or agreeing to attend a social event with someone are mitigating circumstances in a sexual assault are appalling on their face. But when it comes from a prosecutor who is supposed to be protecting victims and holding perpetrators accountable for their crimes it’s a violation the public trust.”

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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