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Former UW football recruit sentenced to year in jail for sex assault

Dominic Cizauskas sexually assaulted UW student during recruiting visit

Former UW football recruit sentenced to year in jail for sex assault

MADISON, Wis. - A former University of Wisconsin football recruit will spend the next 12 months in county jail.

Dominic Cizauskas was sentenced in Dane County Circuit Court on Monday for sexually assaulting a UW student during his official recruiting weekend on campus in December.

"You trampled on (the victim's) rights and the sentence needs to reflect that," Dane County Circuit Court Reserve Judge Daniel LaRocque said to the former Mukwonago High School linebacker. "You can't escape some responsibility for the consequences of your behavior."

Cizauskas was convicted by a Dane County jury of third-degree sexual assault in June. He could have been sentenced to up to five years in state prison plus an additional five years of extended supervision. His defense lawyer had asked for parole while the prosecution advocated for one-two years behind bars.

"I trusted Dominic, but now I don't trust anyone," the victim said. "There's only one victim here – me, not Dominic."

The victim and her mother both told the judge during the sentencing phase that they remained angry that Cizauskas had not shown any remorse for his actions. Prosecutors used that fact as evidence that he should be confined for his crime.

"Today, Dominic Cizauskas is a rapist, not a role model," Dane County Assistant District Attorney Rachel Sattler said. "Until he realizes that, he's a threat."

Defense attorney Timothy Verhoff said Cizauskas believed he had consent and the message that he did not have consent had already been sent with his felony conviction. He said Cizauskas, who did not speak on his own behalf during the sentencing phase, had been "humbled by this."

"I see a young man with so much promise, so much potential," said Sarah Glende, asking the judge to sentence her nephew to parole. "He has the support of family and his community to be a positive, productive and contributing member of society."

LaRocque denied a defense motion to stay the sentence while it's being appealed and Cizauskas was immediately taken into custody.

After Cizauskas' recruitment visit, the UW-Madison football program changed its recruiting policies to no longer let freshmen players serve as student hosts for recruits. Recruits will also not be allowed to visit other students on campus who they might know from their hometown. Also, representatives of the Dean of Students Office will discuss sexual assault with all UW teams prior to the start of the 2014-15 seasons.

During her testimony in the sentencing phase, the victim criticized UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank for allowing Cizauskas to participate in his high school's state basketball championship at the Kohl Center after he had been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault but not yet charged with a crime.

A UW police detective who investigated the case and Chris Cole, the head of threat services on the UW campus, both recommended banning Cizauskas from campus, but were overruled by the chancellor.

University officials explained the decision by stating that Cizauskas had not yet been charged and that he would be supervised in Madison at all times by his team's coaches.

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