Monday, December 3, 2012
An Illinois Hearing Board has recommended disbarment in a case involving the following charges:
The first amended Complaint alleged Respondent engaged in inappropriate conduct in two instances while employed as an assistant state's attorney in Carroll County. In the first count, the Administrator alleged that Respondent overreached his position of trust as a prosecutor when he began a personal relationship with a defendant, K.I., in a case he prosecuted. Respondent engaged in a discussion with K.I. while she was in jail. After K.I. was sentenced and released from custody, Respondent had another conversation of a personal nature. Subsequently, Respondent took K.I. out to dinner, and while in the car, touched her leg and kissed her. The following day, Respondent sent K.I. four text messages.
In the second count, Respondent, in his capacity as a prosecutor, charged A.F. with child pornography for taking pictures of J.C., who was 14 years old when the pictures were taken. During the course of the prosecution of the case, Respondent developed a personal relationship with J.C. and her family. As a result of that relationship, Respondent was removed from the case, but he continued therelationship with J.C. and her family. On February 22, 2010, when J.C. was 17 years old, she was at Respondent's apartment, and he kissed her and touched her breast.
As to sanction:
We base this recommendation on the facts that Respondent was in a position of trust and authority, used that position to take advantage of vulnerable girls, and has demonstrated no acknowledgment of his misconduct. We place substantial weight on Dr. Henry's expert opinion that Respondent lacked an understanding of the relationship between an attorney and defendant or client, and that Respondent believed there was nothing wrong with the relationships he had with J.C. and K.I. Most importantly, Dr. Henry concluded that without treatment, Respondent is at risk to engage in similar conduct in the future, especially with vulnerable and susceptible clients. Given that attorneys meet and represent vulnerable and susceptible clients every day, Respondent is a threat to the community at large. Accordingly, we find that the only way to protect the public from further misconduct is to disbar Respondent.