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Not guilty plea: State Rep. Kramer accused of groping woman

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WAUKESHA (WITI/AP) -- State Representative Bill Kramer is headed straight to trial on sexual assault charges. Kramer on Thursday, May 15th pleaded not guilty to two counts of second degree sexual assault -- and also waived his right to a preliminary hearing -- saying there are problems with the process.

Kramer is the former Majority Leader of the Wisconsin Assembly.

Kramer has represented Waukesha, an ultra-conservative city, since 2006.

Majority Republicans took away his leadership position after allegations surfaced that he may have sexually harassed a lobbyist and a Wisconsin legislative staffer in February, 2014.

After those allegations were revealed, another woman said Kramer attacked her as well during an event in Muskego three years ago. Those allegations led to the criminal charges.

On Thursday, Kramer was in court on those charges. He's accused of assaulting a GOP staff member outside a bar in 2011.

Kramer's attorney spoke out on Thursday after Kramer decided to waive his preliminary hearing.

"The preliminary hearing has now been gutted. In the past, there was an opportunity to test the veracity of the witnesses. That doesn't exist anymore, because you essentially have a police officer taking the stand and reading from a report," Kramer's attorney, Ed Borda said.

In court papers, the GOP staff member alleges Kramer "shoved her against a car," "forcibly kissed her," "put his hands up her shirt and grabbed her breasts," and then "grabbed and touched her groin."

"Now the process of being able to separate fact from fiction begins," Borda said.

Kramer also being accused of groping women on a fundraising trip to Washington, D.C. he attended with other Republican lawmakers earlier this year is something that continues to draw the ire of the state's most powerful politician.

"I thought Bill Kramer brought disfavor upon himself because of his actions -- not because of his party affiliations. That's why I called on him to step aside not only from his leadership position, but as a member of the Legislature because I don't think he belongs in a position of public trust," Gov. Scott Walker said.

"My concern here is with the criminal case in Waukesha. Matters that deal with Madison are matters that deal with Madison," Borda said.

Kramer will stand trial in the case in which he has been charged.

His next court appearance in scheduled for June 18th.

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