UW officials OK’d former recruit accused of sexual assault to play at Kohl Center

Chancellor, chief allow Dominic Cizauskas to play at state championship
UW officials OK’d former recruit accused of sexual assault to play at Kohl Center
Dominic Cizauskas

A former University of Wisconsin football recruit accused of sexually assaulting a student on campus was allowed to participate in his high school’s state basketball championship at the Kohl Center by Chancellor Rebecca Blank and UW-Madison Police Chief Susan Riseling.

Eighteen-year-old Dominic D. Cizauskas was charged with third-degree sexual assault. He is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a UW residence hall dorm room last December.

The detective who investigated the case and Chris Cole, the head of threat services on the UW campus, both recommended banning Cizauskas from campus after he had been arrested but not yet charged with the crime.

However, in a March 13 email from Cole, obtained through an open records request by News 3, he wrote, “After the chief consulted with the chancellor, it was decided that a ban letter would be issued, but with a limited exception allowing Cizauskas to be present at the Kohl Center in order to play in the Mukwonago game(s) this weekend.”

That amended ban order was sent to numerous university officials, including head football coach Gary Andersen and UW Athletics Director Barry Alvarez. Andersen is prevented from commenting on potential recruits by NCAA rules, but Cizauskas was not listed among UW’s official recruiting class in February.

Last summer, Cizauskas had given the Badgers a verbal commitment, and according to numerous recruiting websites, he was on his official recruiting visit to campus at the time the alleged sexual assault happened. He was named the 2013 Wisconsin Football Coaches Association defensive player of the year.

Cole, who spent 26 years as an FBI agent, including five as a supervisor of the Madison office, wrote in a March 12 email to colleagues, including Riseling, that a campus ban “is appropriate given the seriousness of the alleged crime, the fact that Cizauskas has associated on campus who he is known to visit increasing the likelihood of contact with the victim or other witnesses in this matter.”

In a statement sent to News 3, UW-Madison Police Department spokesman Marc Lovicott said several factors went into the chief’s and chancellor’s joint decision, including the fact that “playing basketball had nothing to do with the behavior that was being investigated,” that he had not yet been charged with a crime, and that he would be supervised in Madison at all times by his team.

Cizauskas’s amended ban order allowed him to score 8 points on March 14 as Mukwonago lost 58-41 in the Division 1 semifinal game. It did not allow him anywhere else on campus.

A Dane County judge set bond for Cizauskas at $500 last month and ordered him not to have any contact with the woman and not to be on the UW campus.

If convicted, he faces up to a $25,000 fine and 10 years in prison.