December 11, 2008
Firm Partner Charged With Assaults On Employees
A complaint filed by the Illinois ARDC alleges in graphic detail charges of criminal assault and telephone harassment by a partner in an Illinois firm committed against a firm employee. With respect to that employee, it is alleged:
In January 2002, [the complainant] began employment as a legal assistant at the law office of Freed & Weiss, LLC, hereinafter ("the firm") where Respondent is a named partner. [Her] birthday is July 26, 1982. The highest level of education she had completed was high school.
Within the first week of [her] employment, Respondent brought her into a new office space, stood extremely close to her, and made a comment to her about wanting to kiss her. [She] refused Respondent’s suggestion.
Shortly after [she] began her employment at Respondent’s request, [she]agreed to go to a Chicago Bulls basketball game at the United Center with him.
Following the game, Respondent told [her] he would take her home. While still in the United Center parking lot, Respondent reached over to [her] and grabbed her upper thighs and attempted to reach her vagina. [She] pushed Respondent away and asked him to bring her home.
Respondent then pulled down his pants and asked [her]to "kiss it," referring to his penis. [She] exited Respondent’s car and went home alone.
During the period of her employment at the firm, Respondent on various occasions made sexually suggestive comments to [her]. On various occasions, Respondent also attempted to kiss [her] and touch her breasts and vagina over her clothing. When these incidents occurred, [she] asked Respondent not to touch her or say anything vulgar to her.
Between November 1, 2001 and July 28, 2001 [sic] while [she]was employed at the firm, Respondent called [her] cell phone on forty-nine occasions at various hours during the day and night. Respondent commented about [her] attractive appearance and things of a sexual nature that he wanted to do to her. Respondent made other comments that were obscene, lewd, lascivious and filthy or indecent with intent to offend. [She] would tell Respondent not to call her anymore. Instead of the calls ceasing, Respondent’s phone call became more persistent, forceful and inappropriate as time continued. Respondent asked [her] to talk dirty to him while he masturbated. [She]refused. She heard Respondent grunting and moaning during the calls. Respondent would tell [her]that he was masturbating. [She] repeatedly requested Respondent to cease making the telephone calls.
Respondent made the telephone calls outlined in [the] paragraph...above with the intent to abuse, threaten or harass [her].
In 2002, [she] requested an advance on her salary to pay her cell phone bill. Respondent gave [her] $300 and told her to consider it a loan, which she could pay back "in the flesh."
Between 2002 and 2003 on regular occasions, Respondent pushed [her] against a wall in an office, kiss her and grab her breasts. [She]told Respondent to stop and got away as quickly as she could. On one such occasion, Respondent told [her], "While I had sexual relations with my wife this morning, I was thinking about you."
At some time after January 7, 2003, Respondent cornered [her] while she was on her way to the office restroom. Respondent then forced [her] into a stairwell where he attempted to kiss her. Respondent grabbed [her] breasts, touched her vagina over her clothing and attempted to put his hand down her pants. When [she]resisted Respondent’s advances, Respondent exposed himself and masturbated until he ejaculated on the stairwell wall. During this incident, [she] repeatedly requested that he release her and stop what he was doing.
The complaint further alleges assault and battery on an associate attorney in the firm and an hourly employee, who is the sister of the person described in the above charges. It is alleged that the associate was terminated from her employment at the firm by means of a voice mail message left when she was out of the office. (Mike Frisch)
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