Legal Ethics

Lawyer Who Kept Law License Despite Criminal Record Is Charged with Similar Offense

A Wisconsin bankruptcy lawyer has been accused of using the Internet to entice a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him, seven years after he was snared in an undercover probe in which a police officer posed online as a 14-year-old girl.

Joseph Engl is charged with second-degree sexual assault of a minor, using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, child-enticement sexual contact, and failing to update his status as a sex offender, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Herald Times Reporter and Fox 11 News.

In the 2004 case, Engl was sentenced to probation for using a computer in his Milwaukee law office to arrange a sexual encounter with a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, the Journal Sentinel says. He pleaded guilty to using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.

The Journal Sentinel profiled Engl last year in an investigation that found at least 135 people with criminal records were licensed to practice law in Wisconsin. Engl received a reprimand in 2005, “a regulatory slap on the wrist,” in the words of the Journal Sentinel.

Engl owns the Engl Law Office in Sheboygan and Manitowoc.

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