Legal Ethics

Retired PD is accused of fondling three clients, offering to tie one to the bed

An ethics complaint accuses a longtime public defender in Illinois of fondling three clients and offering to tie one of them to his bed.

Lonnie Lutz, who retired as the Coles County public defender in June, is accused in an ethics complaint filed earlier this month. Lutz worked as the public defender for 33 years, the Journal Gazette and Times-Courier reports. The Legal Profession Blog links to the complaint.

One of the clients, who claims Lutz rubbed her leg and shoulders, reported the incident to police in Charleston, Ill. The matter was referred to the Coles County State’s Attorney’s office, which did not file charges, the complaint says. That incident took place in 2010, and the two others occurred in 2012, the complaint says.

Lutz is accused of kissing and groping another client on two different occasions. He allegedly invited her to a Springfield conference, where he said he would tie her to the bed, and invited her to his office so he could perform sexual acts. She declined both invitations and hired a private attorney, the complaint says.

He is accused of touching a third client’s inner thigh on two occasions on a bench outside the courtroom.

The Journal Gazette & Times-Courier contacted Lutz, who referred comment to his lawyer. The newspaper did not hear from the lawyer before press time.

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