Sparta massage therapist facing felony sexual assault charge

Ethan Karls is free on bond

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 4th degree sexual assault to 2nd.

The new charge is a felony.

If convicted, Karls now faces up to 40 years in prison.

Jennifer Dreibel reported Karls to police in October of 2020. Four other women came forward over the last year and a half and the state suspended Karls’ license in March. However, the District Attorney didn’t charge Karls with a crime until July of 2022.

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,” said survivor Jennifer Driebel.

Karls is free on bond. He returns to court later this month to be formally charged with the elevated 2nd degree sexual assault charge.

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