November 26, 2012
Three Years, Three Rabbis
The illinois Supreme Court has ordered a three-year suspension of an attorney for his involvement in online chats with two individuals who had represented themselves to be underage girls.
The report and recommendation of the Review Board set forth some facts:
Respondent testified that he is not sexually interested in minors and did not believe that Amy Girl or Brati were underage. He believed he was "role-playing" with adult women. Respondent testified that he has "zero interest" in urination for sexual gratification and that his "urine chat" was a "vehicle that would often get me to somebody who was willing to engage with me quickly and to get to that point of sexual arousal." Respondent denied any sexual attraction to urination because [t]his has never carried over into any realistic situations." When asked whether he was interested in children between the ages of 12 and 17, Respondent answered, "Absolutely not." Respondent testified that if he ever engaged with someone he sensed was a child, he "would click off." He further testified that he did not "click off" when Amy Girl said she was 12 because people misrepresented their age all the time so "it wasn't registering. I didn't think about it."
There was mitigation evidence:
The Hearing Board gave substantial weight to the character evidence from Respondent's three rabbis. The rabbis strongly believe that Respondent is a fundamentally good person who made mistakes and is trying to make up for them. Although the rabbis were not aware of the extent of Respondent's addiction or of some of the more sordid details of his acts, we have no reason to disregard their testimony about Respondent's remorse and commitment to his rehabilitation. That said, Respondent's character evidence does not substantially impact our recommendation due to the severity of Respondent's misconduct.
The Hearing Board determined that Respondent's misconduct did not involve the practice of law. However, Respondent admittedly engaged in sexually related online chats while at work for a corporation where he was employed as in house counsel. On at least two occasions as part of his communications with Brati he transmitted video of himself masturbating and ejaculating on his office desk. Respondent readily acknowledged that, had he been discovered, his behavior would have caused "[e]mbarrassment to the company, embarrassment to my colleagues, embarrassment to the department, embarrassment to, you know, many people on many levels."
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