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Fox Valley lawyer faced with license suspension for sexual assault, 3 felony convictions

After a misdemeanor sexual-assault conviction and three felony charges related to a high-speed chase with law enforcement, a Fox Valley lawyer is faced with a 90-day suspension of his law license.

According to a complaint from the Office of Lawyer Regulation, Benjamin A. Hanes of Neenah sexually assaulted a woman twice in the same night in Columbia County, once while she was sleeping and again when she woke up. Hanes was convicted of misdemeanor fourth-degree sexual assault, sentenced to one year of probation and assessed costs and restitution in July 2018.

Then in January 2017, while Hanes was on bail in the Columbia County case, he was stopped by a Calumet County sheriff’s official for erratic driving, according to the OLR complaint. During the stop, the officer discovered in his car items associated with intravenous drug use and asked Hanes to get out of the vehicle. The complaint said Hanes refused and sped off, leading five officials on a high-speed chase. When officials cornered Hanes, he tried to run away and had to be stopped with a Taser.

Hanes was convicted of three felonies for recklessly endangering safety, fleeing an officer and bail jumping related to the chase. He was sentenced to a year in jail and three years of probation in March 2018.

The OLR is requesting the Supreme Court of Wisconsin suspend Hanes’ law license for 90 days for his conduct and for failing to notify the OLR of the convictions. The court suspended his law license in October 2017 for failing to pay state bar dues and certify other information and again in 2018 for failure to comply with CLE requirements. The complaint against Hanes said his law license remains suspended.

About Michaela Paukner, [email protected]

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at [email protected]

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