Saturday, August 09, 2008
Ind. Courts - Update on: Plea deal pulled in attorney sex-attack case
New Albany attorney Anthony Wallingford pleaded guilty yesterday to sexual battery involving a 16-year-old girl and likely faces losing his right to practice law, at least temporarily, in addition to a short jail term.
Wallingford admitted to Harrison Superior Court Judge Roger Davis that he attacked the girl in her bedroom in Elizabeth on April 14, 2007.
He was charged with criminal deviate conduct, a Class B felony, and with sexual battery, a Class D felony. But under a plea deal, Special Prosecutor David Powell agreed to drop the criminal deviate conduct charge in exchange for admission of sexual battery.
Davis took the plea deal under advisement and set sentencing for Sept. 24.
The deal calls for Wallingford to spend no more than 120 days in the Harrison County Jail but allows Davis to require more time on home incarceration. Conviction on the sexual battery charge also requires Wallingford to register as a sex offender for 10 years. * * *
Wallingford's lawyer, James Voyles, declined to comment after the hearing.
Indiana Rules of Court require reporting the felony conviction of any attorney to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, which must verify the information and request that the Supreme Court suspend the attorney from practice pending further disciplinary action. The attorney then has 15 days to respond before the Supreme Court acts.
Charles Kidd, a staff attorney for the disciplinary commission, said the Supreme Court typically grants the suspension, followed by a formal grievance procedure in which the commission investigates the case and forwards its findings and recommendation to the court. The court then decides whether a penalty -- ranging from a reprimand to permanent disbarment -- should be imposed.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 9, 2008 08:33 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts