Joe Neal Jr. was suspended from practicing law in federal court Friday for the balance of his time on probation for charges stemming from a rape case.
U.S. District judges Dudley Bowen and Randal Hall said in the order that the public’s perception of an attorney under supervised probation and performing community service at a sewage treatment plant is “anathemic to the image and expectations of conduct for attorneys practicing in this
Neal accepted a plea bargain this month that reduced charges of rape to two misdemeanors: disorderly conduct and
possession of marijuana.
He also pleaded guilty to furnishing alcohol to a person younger than 21 for a sentence of three years’ probation.
The charges stemmed from a teenage babysitter’s accusations that Neal and his ex-wife, Caroline Caldwell Neal, forced her into a threesome in December at their home on Kings Way.
Caroline Neal was indicted on the same rape and alcohol charges; she has pleaded guilty and is scheduled for sentencing July 2.
Friday’s order was issued without notice or a hearing “in order to immediately address the court’s concerns for the court’s expectations and the public’s perception of the conduct of attorneys at law.”
The order gives Neal a chance to challenge his suspension before the court and on the record. Records show he has no open cases in the Southern District of Georgia.