Sexual assault charge against Sparta massage therapist elevated to felony

1 of Ethan Karls' 4th degree sexual assault charges upped to 2nd degree

SPARTA, Wis. (WKBT) — The Sparta massage therapist charged with sexually assaulting his female clients is now facing a felony.

The Monroe County District Attorney is elevating one of the charges against 30-year old Ethan Karls from fourth degree sexual assault to second degree.

The new charge is a felony. If convicted, Karls faces now faces up to 40 years in prison.

Jennifer Dreibel reported Karls to police in Oct. 2020. Four other women came forward over the last year and a half and the state suspended Karls’ license in March, but the D.A. didn’t charge Karls with a crime until July of this year.

The elevated charge is for Driebel’s case. She says she understands how they are feeling and is thankful they came forward.

“That you’re going to be okay and that you are strong. You can do this. And I’m proud of you for reporting,” Driebel said.

Karls is free on bond. He returns to court later this month to be formally charged with the elevated second degree sexual assault charge.

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