The Sexting DA's Noteworthy Divorces And Creepy Cases

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Sexting DA Kenneth Kratz will resign after all — before that happens, let's take a closer look at the life and career of the world's worst DA.


Kratz had initially refused to step down, but now CNN reports that he will — and his lawyer says it will be sometime before his removal hearing, scheduled for Oct. 8. His resignation would be the end of a long career: Kratz has been Calumet County's district attorney since 1992, when he was appointed by Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson. In addition to allegedly harassing several different women, sexting two and asking one on a date to an autopsy, here's what Kratz has been up to since then:

The Teresa Halbach Murder Case

According to, Kratz successfully prosecuted Steven Avery in 2007 for the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. Halbach had gone to Avery's auto yard to photograph a van; Avery apparently shot her in the back of the head and then incinerated her corpse. Avery 17-year-old nephew said he and his uncle had also raped the woman before they killed her, but the rape charge against Avery was dismissed. Avery was convicted of first-degree homicide and sentenced to life in prison. Making an already horrifying case even more upsetting was the fact that Avery had actually been wrongfully imprisoned for eighteen years for a rape he didn't commit. He was exonerated just two years before murdering Halbach. The defense asked the jury to "help set things right for Avery by finding him not guilty" — they listened to Kratz instead.

The Penis-Gluing Case

Earlier this year, Kratz prosecuted four women who lured a man into a hotel room with the promise of sex, then tied him up and glued his penis to his stomach as a punishment for cheating on them. The four — one of whom was the victim's wife — received probation. Kratz got a lot of media attention — he told CNN, "It could be the super glue thing. It doesn't let go." Judge Donald Poppy was more philosophical, saying that most unhappy couples just get a divorce — "They don't set things in motion so people get all messed up with glue."

The Three Divorces

Kratz claimed he was separated from his wife when he sexted Stephanie Van Groll in October 2009. It's not clear whether they were already separated in 2008, when he allegedly sent inappropriate texts to Maria Ruskiewicz. What is clear from court records is that his current wife filed for divorce in December 2009 — and this divorce, if it goes through, will be his third. Kratz was also divorced in 1994 and 1997. It appears that Donald Poppy, the judge from the glue case, actually presided over the 1997 divorce — at least Kratz and his second wife didn't get all messed up with glue. Of course, as we now know, Kratz managed to mess up pretty badly with just a cell phone.

Wisconsin DA To Resign, Attorney Says [CNN]
Third Woman Accuses Wisconsin DA Of 'Sexting' Harassment [ABC]
Calumet County DA 'Sexted' Abuse Victim [Wisconsin State Journal]
Attorney: Kratz To Resign Before His Oct. 8 Hearing [Wisconsin State Journal]
Embattled Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz Trying To Survive Embarrassing Text Messages, Stained Legacy []
Man In Glued Penis Case Charged With Child Abuse []
Steven Avery Found Guilty Of Killing Teresa Halbach []
Women Avoid Jail In Glued Penis Case []


Earlier: Sexting DA Asked Woman On Autopsy Date, Sexted Others
World's Worst DA Sexted Abuse Victim



I don't understand the point of the Halbach murder case blurb. Are we supposed to be upset that he didn't pursue the rape charges? That he went after the defendant even though he was previously wrongfully imprisoned? That the jury didn't come back not guilty to balance out the previous wrongful imprisonment? That Kratz won a case?