by: Richard Elliot Updated:DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —
A DeKalb County attorney pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges he made unwanted sexual advances on a female client.
A judge sentenced 73-year-old William Hall to 30 days of house arrest after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery and public indecency. The judge also levied a fine, gave him 24 months probation and ordered him to pay for the victim's counseling. Afterwards, Hall said the entire incident was a terrible misunderstanding.
"It was a bad joke that just went horribly wrong," said Hall as he
left the DeKalb County Courthouse.
"We don't think this is a laughing matter," said DeKalb County Solicitor Sherry Boston.
Boston said one of Hall's clients came to his Decatur office to pick up a
child-support check. He represented her during the legal proceedings. When asked how she could pay, investigators said Hall proposed having sex, then committed a lewd act before touching her inappropriately. The unnamed victim ran out of his office and called police.
"It's extremely distressing for a sexual assault to happen to anyone," said Boston. "But for it to happen to someone who thought they could trust and paid that person to help them with a legal situation that they had in their life just is another matter."
Boston said she will recommend that the State Bar of Georgia revoke Hall's license to practice law.
"We believe that Mr. Hall has violated the rules of professional conduct as it's outlined by his license," said Boston. "And the bar will make any disciplinary actions that they feel are appropriate."