Content warning: Allegations of abusive relationship, stalking, and harassment.
On February 6th, University of Chicago College Republicans President Brett Barbin spoke to David Krupa, a candidate for alderman in Chicago’s 13th Ward, over the phone. They discussed allegations against Krupa made by the candidate’s ex-girlfriend, Juliet Schmidt. These allegations are outlined in an emergency order of protection filed by Schmidt’s family, which has since been vacated.
The content of the conversation left Barbin unsettled, and he came to Gate reporters with his concerns. The Gate has since spoken with Barbin, Krupa, Schmidt, and others to investigate the allegations ahead of the February 26th Chicago election.
Krupa, 19, is the youngest candidate in the upcoming municipal elections. Born in Chicago, Krupa attended Fenwick High School, a private Catholic school in Oak Park, and is currently a freshman at DePaul University. Beyond taking classes and campaigning for alderman, Krupa also works six hours a day for FedEx. Krupa is running as an Independent, and has centered his platform around bipartisan issues like infrastructure and the pension crisis. He has been endorsed by the Chicago Tribune.
Krupa’s opponent is Marty Quinn, a two-term incumbent. The last time an incumbent alderman was challenged in an election in the 13th Ward was in 1991. Quinn has tried to continue this streak by challenging Krupa’s petitions to get on the ballot, filing affidavits from nearly 2,800 voters saying that they did not intend to sign Krupa’s petitions. However, Krupa and his attorney claimed that most of these affidavits were fabricated, and Quinn’s campaign subsequently withdrew the challenge.
Although Krupa has overcome Quinn’s opposition and made it onto the ballot in the southwest Chicago ward, his candidacy faces another challenge in the form of allegations against him by his high school ex-girlfriend.
On June 23, 2017, Michael Schmidt, Juliet’s father, filed an emergency order of protection (embedded below this article), prohibiting Krupa from having any contact with his daughter or the rest of the Schmidt family. The documents allege abusive behavior including stalking, harassment, emotional abuse, and nonconsensual condom removal.
An emergency order of protection (EOP) is a civil legal measure that does not require the respondent (Krupa in this case) to be notified when the order is filed. Because of this, emergency orders of protection are limited in term: they last only 21 days, after which a hearing must be scheduled between the parties. This hearing can be postponed, and the order can be extended in the meantime. In this case, at each hearing the order was extended for another three months, meaning that the order was in effect for a total of nine months. The standard of proof for these orders is a “preponderance of evidence,” a lesser standard of proof than that in criminal cases.
“There are details in [the court documents] which indicate why we felt it necessary,” Michael Schmidt told the Gate. “In the end [Juliet] very clearly wanted to break free of [Krupa] and he was not listening to her. And it came down to it that the order of protection was necessary.”
Krupa claims that the allegations in the documents were falsified by Michael Schmidt in order to keep the couple apart.
“He didn't feel like she was able to handle a relationship at that time due to family and personal issues. We both wanted to see each other, but he did not [want us to]. So he filed to keep us away from each other,” Krupa said.
However, Juliet Schmidt told the Gate that she agreed with her parents that an EOP was necessary, and that she was afraid of seeing Krupa at the time the order of protection was filed.
Schmidt said the idea of filing an order of protection was first suggested by a social worker she met with due to issues in her relationship with Krupa. Her teacher, Amy Fritsch, confirmed she sent Schmidt to see the social worker during school hours. Her father corroborated that the idea of filing an EOP was first proposed by the social worker. Schmidt said that her father filed the EOP on her behalf due to the fact she was only 17 years old at the time. “My dad did file it,” she said, “but it was my decision.”
Schmidt said that she was anxious at the thought of seeing Krupa in a hearing, which led her to postpone a hearing three times. “My lawyer would give me advice on what would happen during a hearing and I wasn't ready because it was traumatic,” she said. While the EOP was in place, Schmidt said “that separation from [Krupa] was good,” but “there was still that anxiety surrounding going to court and seeing him.”
Krupa argued that the claim that Juliet was too upset to face him in court was a pretext for Michael Schmidt to keep the two apart: “[Michael Schmidt] knew, once it went to a hearing, it would be vacated. Which is why they delayed it for nine months.”
According to Barbin’s statement about his call with Krupa on February 6th, Krupa “said the judge in the case was never going to side with him because she was female. He wished he had had a white, male judge who had faced these kinds of allegations in the past, stating that then he would have been fine.” In an interview with the Gate, Krupa said “the judge was a Hispanic woman. Not that it matters, like I said. But people care about those things. Some people might say, ‘oh, well he might of had a male judge that didn’t really have sympathy for [Schmidt].’”
Krupa has claimed Schmidt’s allegations are the result of her being manipulated by Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, Alderman Quinn’s close ally. Schmidt had interned for the Madigan-Quinn 13th Ward office in 2016. However, as POLITICO first reported, Krupa also worked for Madigan-Quinn in 2015. Krupa told the Gate “she was a Madigan intern. That much is confirmed. She has it on her Facebook page. I remember the time she had gotten the job.” Schmidt, however, said she thought Krupa’s claim that her allegations are politically motivated is funny, because Krupa “set me up with that job.” “He worked there the previous summer and he told me, ‘yeah, you should apply,’” Schmidt said, “I was like, ‘oh, okay, yeah. Sure. I’ll apply.’ And I applied. I got the job.”
The EOP outlines several allegations against Krupa. In the affidavit Schmidt describes stalking, harassment, and an emotionally unhealthy relationship. Among the claims is the occurrence of nonconsensual condom removal.
Schmidt alleges in the EOP that on or about May 29th, 2017, at approximately 9:00pm, Krupa “removed the condom while we were having sex without my knowledge or consent.” Schmidt’s affidavit attests that Krupa told her “after the fact that he had removed it,” and that she “felt violated and really scared of getting pregnant.”
When asked about the allegation in an interview with the Gate, Krupa denied it and said “The only thing I could think of is that maybe the condom broke. That’s the only thing that can come to my mind because I never intentionally removed it.” Krupa later added, “So like if that did happen, that’s also, you know, whatever you wanna name it. Some kind of violation or whatever, and that would probably also maybe warrant an order of protection.”
Krupa said that “If she objected to it, then she would’ve said something.” He added “I think, you know, I used a condom every time that she wanted me to use a condom. And I never like ‘fooled you,’ like pulled a Quagmire, I never did that,” referencing a character from the TV show Family Guy.
Schmidt told the Gate she was not aware Krupa had removed the condom until after the fact. “I started freaking out,” she said. Schmidt told her friend Alyssa Hilko about the incident at the time. Hilko told the Gate that Schmidt “told us that she and David had been having sex the night before and he took off the condom while they were having sex.”
Fritsch also told the Gate that Schmidt informed her of the incident involving Krupa removing the condom at the time it happened.
Schmidt told her friend Maxwell Kroll about the incident (as he confirmed to Gate reporters), and he and Schmidt visited a Planned Parenthood the day after, on May 31st. Schmidt provided the Gate with a copy of her receipt from Planned Parenthood, which shows a purchase for emergency contraception. Kroll said “I went with her to Planned Parenthood because she was really, really scared about that.”
Krupa claimed that the specific allegation regarding the condom was driven by Michael Schmidt and the attorney representing the Schmidt family. He posited that they “took the details and maybe they made up some or expanded others.” Michael Schmidt said “the whole thing about the condom being included, that was Juliet. And I don’t know how [Krupa] thinks things work, but attorneys don’t force somebody to put something into some paperwork. They talk with you and they get you to tell your story.”
“This was Juliet’s story that she told in her amended petition, I have no reason to not believe my daughter that it’s true,” he added.
Barbin discussed the allegation with Krupa on February 6th. In his statement, Barbin said “I then asked if he ever took his condom off without her consent. He confirmed this, and said that she never had a problem with unprotected sex at the beginning of their relationship. He then questioned the difference that it made.”
Asked about consent in the relationship Krupa said, “I didn’t ask her every time. You know what I mean? I’m going to be honest. And I didn’t. And I don’t think that most people do. But it was just kind of like she had a problem with it, she would’ve told me, and I would’ve respected that, I think.” Krupa added that “consent is important to society, but we need to make sure that we don’t be silly with it.”
“I would hope that one person, or at least the person that disagrees, would speak up and say something,” Krupa added, “I mean, that’s kind of the person’s obligation to do so.”
Several other incidents of alleged emotional abuse are cited in the court documents. The EOP contains a series of texts records provided by Schmidt. One set of texts included are between Schmidt and a 773 phone number, which Krupa agrees are from him. The other set of texts are between Schmidt and a person saved in her contacts as “Dave,” which Krupa claimed was not him. In the texts with Dave, the person Schmidt alleged to be Krupa criticized her friends, calling them “liberal faggots.”
Schmidt said the fact that one of the contacts was under the name Dave was due to her getting a new phone. Krupa denied this, saying those messages are fabricated.
“The ones that say, Dave, those are not my text messages,” Krupa said. “I don't know who sent those text messages or why they felt the need to fabricate them. But I totally deny that those text messages were ever sent by me. And point being behind it, because it doesn't make sense that you would have one number right, say this 773. And then the other one is Dave. They could have had another contact in her phone, like maybe her father or something, just change my name to Dave real quick and we'll make it look like...”
However, when asked about pressuring Schmidt to have sex after the break up, Krupa admitted to the Gate that he sent the texts on page 59 of the EOP, which are under the Dave contact name.
Schmidt and her friends and family also spoke to the deleterious effects that their relationship had on Schmidt’s education as well as her emotional state.
“It affected my attendance a lot. I had very bad attendance in high school because I would fight with him and then I would be so anxious about going to school that I wouldn't go or I wouldn't get school work done because I'd be arguing with him for hours. It was just so on and off because one day, we'd be really good and then the next, something that I said or something that I did would make him angry.”
Fritsch, Schmidt’s teacher, spoke to the extent to which the relationship had impacted Schmidt’s performance at school as well as her mood. She also confirmed that she had heard from Schmidt or her family about each of the incidents detailed in the affidavit.
Among the accusations made in the court documents are two instances of Krupa pursuing Schmidt. Schmidt alleges that in May 2017, Krupa followed her in his car while she was on her way to a friend’s house and yelled at her to get in the car. Around the same time, she alleges, he knocked on her bedroom window and convinced her to come with him to his house, where she was confronted by a group of people who tried to convince her to remain in a relationship with Krupa. Krupa denies that he followed her.
“Well I never really had to chase her as much as we sought each other out,” Krupa said. “It wasn't like how they have it in the order of protection where I would follow her around in my car. That never happened.”
“I never screamed at her, ‘Get in the fucking car,’” he added. “That never happened. I did ask her if she needed a ride. She told me no. And I said, ‘Okay.’”
Fritsch, however, remembers Schmidt telling her about these incidents at the time they happened, and being concerned for her safety.
“It’s challenging because he was what I considered my first love, in a way which sounds gross now when I think about it. But, I thought, you know, I thought couples have problems. Relationships have issues and you just work through them and that’s how you end up marrying someone one day,” Schmidt reflected.
Ultimately, the EOP was vacated by the plaintiff, Schmidt, on February 22, 2018. Krupa and Schmidt disagree over the reasons why the order was vacated. Krupa argues that Michael Schmidt put off the hearing for nine months because he knew it would be vacated by the judge, and that because the Schmidts’ attorney “knew they had nothing” they told the Schmidts that they should move to vacate the order.
Juliet and Michael Schmidt, in contrast, say that they vacated the order because by February 2018, Schmidt knew where she would be attending college and felt that the order of protection had been successful in giving her space from Krupa while she recovered. Because he hadn’t tried to violate the order of protection, Schmidt felt that Krupa had understood that he was not to contact her.
Marta Bukata, the Deputy Director of the Chicago Legal Clinic, who was not involved in the case, explained that it is legally significant that the EOP was vacated, as opposed to being terminated. When an order of protection is vacated, the effect is as if it never existed.
“Furthermore,” she added, ‘the fact that the order of protection was dismissed as per the petitioner’s request is also legally significant . . . It may simply mean that after 8 to 9 months of being involved in the case, there is either a change in the petitioner’s circumstances and/or a positive change in the respondent’s behavior that could make the continuation of the case not necessary or justified.”
As Chicagoans prepare to vote in the municipal election, Schmidt is concerned about the effect of her story becoming public. It has only been a year since the emergency order of protection was vacated.
“I was really concerned,” she said. “But I think that it's really important, even if the outcome isn't exactly what I want, to speak my truth about the situation because I feel like in these contexts, it's women who tend to get silenced. I don't want to be silent about it. I have been silent for two years about the order of protection with people in my neighborhood and now that it's out and there's no going around it, I want people to hear my side.”
When reached for comment on February 21st before publication, Krupa again denied the claims laid forth in the EOP, denied the claims made by Barbin regarding the judge and the removal of the condom, and denied using racial slurs. Krupa said Barbin “must have misunderstood something that I said,” and with regards to racial slurs said “I never said that word and I certainly never said it towards anyone in anger. I don’t use that word.” Krupa maintained that the text messages from “Dave” were not sent by him. “Everyone knows people who are going to be haters,” Krupa concluded, “everyone has people who want to see you crash and burn.”
Editors’ Note: Brett Barbin is a senior writer at the Gate as well as the president of the University of Chicago College Republicans. He was present when one of the reporters of this story interviewed Krupa, in order to introduce the two and to have the chance to ask some of the questions he was planning to ask during Krupa’s visit to the College Republicans. Krupa was made aware that Barbin writes for the Gate before that interview. Beyond this, Barbin was treated purely as a source and was not party to the reporting process.
This article was edited on February 23 at 12:01 AM. A former source retracted his claims about racial slurs used by David Krupa during high school.
The emergency order of protection had already been published by another outlet, but the Gate reuploaded it below, with addresses and phone numbers redacted. Content warning: explicit discussion of alleged relationship abuse.
Redacted EOP by on Scribd
Jacob Toner Gosselin
Jacob Gosselin is a fourth-year majoring in Math and Economics and minoring in Creative Writing. He is interested in health policy and criminal justice reform. He's currently working as a data journalist with Injustice Watch, a non-profit newsroom in Chicago. He's previously interned at the Brookings Institution's Center for Health Policy, and the Kaiser Family Foundation. On campus, Jacob is the Captain of the Varsity Cross Country and Track teams, and was the Managing Editor of The Gate from 2017-2018. He enjoys reporting on local issues, running with his friends, and tutoring at Chavez Middle School with the Chicago Peace Corps.
Kaeli Subberwal is a fourth-year majoring in political science and minoring in physics. She has spent her summers working in local journalism at the Summit Daily News and national journalism at HuffPost, and doing archival research through the College Summer Institute in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. In her free time, Kaeli enjoys reading, hiking in the Rocky Mountains, and doing crossword puzzles instead of studying.
Dylan Wells is a fourth-year Political Science major and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations minor. This summer Dylan worked at CBS News in the Political Unit. Previously, she interned at ABC News' Washington, DC bureau as a Political Unit Fellow, twice at the Institute of Politics as the Events Intern and the Summer Programs Intern, and with POLITICO Live at the DNC. Last year she served as The Gate's Editor-in-Chief, and before that she served as the Elections Editor. Dylan was the recipient of the inaugural David Axelrod Reporting Grant, which she used for a story on domestic human trafficking. Dylan enjoys traveling, exploring the Chicago brunch scene, and playing with her dog, Wasabi.