Former DA found guilty of adultery and disorderly conduct

A former Jackson County District Attorney has entered a plea for attempted adultery and disorderly conduct charges.

James Ritland pleaded no contest this week to those charges, and a judge found him guilty. He will be sentenced on December 20th.

Ritland was 62 when the charges were filed. He has been a lawyer in Black River Falls since 1978, and served as District Attorney in 1981 and 1982. He was accused, in part, of posting cash bonds for women and paying for their drugs in exchange for sexual favors between May 2014 and April 2016. During a preliminary hearing, the women said they used money Ritland gave them to buy heroin from drug dealers outside his office, and then performed sex acts with them. One woman also asked Ritland to represent her after she got into legal trouble, and she said Ritland suggested the woman perform sex acts in exchange for his legal services. She said it happened 5 or 6 times in his office.

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