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Lawyer convicted of battery, confinement

January 1, 2008
An Indiana attorney often in trouble with the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission was convicted Friday of crimes against a woman in a wheelchair.

Northern Indiana attorney Michael Haughee was convicted of sexual battery and criminal confinement, both Class D felonies, and interference with the reporting of a crime, a Class A misdemeanor.

Haughee was arrested in October 2006 following an incident at the woman's home. Haughee claimed he went to the woman's house to register her to vote. At the time, Haughee was a precinct committeeman for the Democratic Party in Porter County, said Porter County deputy prosecutor Cheryl Polarek, who represented the state in the case. Haughee and the woman met at a local health club while he was working out and she was receiving physical therapy.

The woman - who has multiple sclerosis - opened the door when Haughee knocked, but he came in uninvited and forced a kiss on the woman. He also groped her breasts while he prevented her from moving away from him in her wheelchair by sticking his foot in front of the wheel of the chair and held onto the chair's arm rails. The woman called the police two days after the incident.

Haughee's sentencing is scheduled for March 7, and he faces up to seven years in prison. Polarek said she asked the judge to take Haughee into custody after the trial based on the jury returning the felony verdicts, but the judge allowed him to remain free on bond.

Haughee has been brought before the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission several times and has been suspended from the practice of law in Indiana indefinitely.
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