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Court upholds ruling against former Dassey attorney

By SCOTT BAUER
Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin appeals court on Wednesday upheld a ruling that the former attorney for a man whose story was documented in the 2015 Netflix series “Making a Murderer” violated a harassment restraining order against him.

The restraining order against Len Kachinsky was issued in 2018 when he was a municipal court judge in the village of Fox Crossing. Kachinsky previously served as an attorney for Brendan Dassey, who was convicted along with his uncle of killing Teresa Halbach in 2005. The case was featured in the “Making a Murderer” series.

The municipal court manager who worked with Kachinsky received the restraining order after successfully arguing that Kachinsky had made her life a “living nightmare.” She said that Kachinsky harassed her and retaliated against her when she tried to take their relationship from a friendship to one that was solely professional.

Less than a month after the restraining order was issued, Kachinsky hung a poster a few feet from the court manager’s desk displaying a portion of the town’s personnel manual related to sexual harassment. The word “sexual” was highlighted each time it appeared.

The court manager alerted police that she believed Kachinsky violated the restraining order. Kachinsky was questioned and released by police on July 3, 2018, the same day that the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an order suspending him as a municipal court judge until 2021 because of the harassment charge.

Kachinsky, 67, was subsequently charged with stalking and two counts of violating the restraining order. He also sent the court manager two emails in April 2019, resulting in another charge of violating the restraining order.

The stalking charge was dismissed, but Kachinsky was found guilty by a Winnebago County jury of violating the restraining order. He was sentenced to a year of probation, along with a six-month jail sentence that was stayed. He was also ordered not to enter the Fox Crossing municipal building and not to post on social media.

Kachinsky appealed, arguing in part that the restrictions placed on him were unconstitutional. The 2nd District Court of Appeals found that the lower court was reasonable in the ruling against him and the restrictions placed on him to prevent contact with his former co-worker.

Kachinsky did not immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday.

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