Legal Ethics

Lawyer accused of secretly taping sex with client gives up his license

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The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted the resignation of a lawyer who pleaded guilty to voyeurism based on accusations he secretly taped a sexual encounter with a client.

The court accepted the resignation of William Wallace III in an order (PDF) issued Aug. 14. The Legal Profession Blog notes the action and a July story about Wallace’s decision to resign by the Evansville Courier & Press.

Wallace pleaded guilty to felony charges of obstructing justice and possession of child pornography in October 2011 and to voyeurism in April 2012, the Courier & Press says. The April guilty plea followed a January 2012 decision (PDF) by the Indiana Court of Appeals that found the secret sex taping could support a voyeurism conviction. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

According to the appeals court, investigators alleged that Wallace visited a jailed woman in February 2009 and offered to represent her, though she already had a lawyer. Later the woman hired Wallace to represent her in a civil suit, and Wallace allegedly told her he could gain her release from prison on schedule if she agreed to have sex with him after her release. The sexual encounter took place in September 2009, after the woman’s release. The woman contacted police in March 2010, saying she had just learned about the tape because Wallace showed it to her boyfriend.

During a search of Wallace’s home in Princeton, Wallace tried to hide DVDs and a computer hard drive in his pants, investigators say. Police said the home search produced the sex tape as well as DVDs containing child pornography.

The Indiana Disciplinary Commission had accused Wallace of making an unsolicited, in-person contact for employment, having a sexual relationship with a client, and engaging in a criminal act that reflected adversely on honesty, trustworthiness or fitness. He won’t face a disciplinary hearing as a result of the resignation.

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