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Tuesday

September 2014

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Mukwonago star athlete Dominic Cizauskas on trial for sexual assault

Dominic Cizauskas looks around the courtroom before the start of his trial for sexual assault Tuesday, June 17, at the Dane County Courthouse in Madison. The former Mukwonago High School multi-sport athlete’s trial continues today.

Dominic Cizauskas looks around the courtroom before the start of his trial for sexual assault Tuesday, June 17, at the Dane County Courthouse in Madison. The former Mukwonago High School multi-sport athlete’s trial continues today. Photo by: Todd Ponath

Is being charged with third-degree sexual assualt

Mukwonago multisport athlete and recent high-school graduate Dominic Cizauskas was in a Dane County courtroom Tuesday and Wednesday, on trial for allegations of third-degree sexual assault.

Cizauskas has pleaded not guilty to the incident, which allegedly happened Dec. 14, 2013, on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Opening statements were made Tuesday morning by Assistant District Attorney Rachel Sattler, who is representing the state, and defense statements were given by Cizauskas' attorney, Timothy Verhoff.

Opening statements focused heavily on text messages between Cizauskas and the alleged victim.

A UW-Madison police officer and one of Cizauskas' hosts for the visit were the first two witnesses called to the stand Tuesday morning.

Cizauskas was visiting UW-Madison on a recruitment trip for the Badgers football team when the incident occurred, according to the criminal complaint. Cizauskas was an all-state linebacker and earned scholarship offers from multiple schools. He verbally accepted an offer from UW-Madison but never signed a letter of intent.

Cizauskas was formally charged in March, accused of forcing himself on a female student in her dorm room.

According to the complaint, Cizauskas and the woman knew each other and had had consensual sexual contact several months before the incident. On Dec. 14, Cizauskas and the victim had a text message conversation that included sexual references, and the victim reported trying to dissuade Cizauskas from coming to see her, the complaint said.

According to the complaint, Cizauskas entered the victim's unlocked dorm room smelling of intoxicants. The victim reported that Cizauskas had told her he had consumed 10 shots within a half-hour. The woman reported to police that Cizauskas started kissing her neck and eventually moved her into a lying position, removed her pants and forced himself on her.

The victim said she called a friend after Cizauskas left, according to the complaint; she underwent an exam by a sexual assault nurse Dec. 15.

On Tuesday morning, Verhoff told the jury the woman knew why Cizauskas was coming over, and he emphasized that the two had a relationship that was consensual and exclusively sexual.

"You may not like that; you may say that's not good behavior," Verhoff said. "Fair enough, but that's the relationship."

Sattler, meanwhile, focused on the choices Cizauskas made and said the alleged assault took away the choice of the victim not to have sex that night.

Cizauskas was booked and released Jan. 2 in connection with the incident. After being charged, he was released on a $500 signature bond and was to have no contact, direct or indirect with the alleged victim, was not to consume alcohol and was not allowed on the UW-Madison campus where, before the incident, he was set to be a scholarship football player.

Third-degree sexual assault is a Class G felony and carries a maximum fine of $25,000 and 10 years in prison.

This paper went to press before the completion of the trial. For the most up-to-date information during the trial, visit LivingLakeCountry.com. Watch for more in next week's Mukwonago Chief.

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