Thursday, August 15, 2013

"Only The Special Ones"

The Illinois Administrator has filed a complaint alleging that the accused public defender engaged in assaultive behavior toward three clients in criminal matters.

This conduct alleged in Count One:

Following the court appearance in case number 12 CF 354 on October 11, 2012, Respondent asked [client] L. to come back to his office. L. agreed.

On October 11, 2012, at Respondent’s office, Respondent asked L. about the events on the day of her arrest. L. described the events, and also told Respondent that her husband, who resided in Arizona, was terminally ill and in hospice care.

During their conversation, Respondent then stood up, reached over to L. and hugged her, then kissed her on the mouth, and put his tongue in her mouth. L. said nothing but did not return the kiss.

Respondent then said he could work something out with the State’s Attorney on L.’s case, and started rubbing her back. He asked L. if his rubbing "felt good."

L. responded that the "whole thing" made her nervous and upset.

Respondent then reached down and touched L.’s breasts, over her shirt and reached between her legs and rubbed her vaginal area. He then put her hand on his pants, over his erect penis, and said "see what you do to me?"

Respondent told L. that he was going to Springfield for the weekend, and asked if she would like to go with him. Respondent told L. he would tie her to the bed while he was at the conference. L. did not respond.

L’s mother then called L. on her cell phone, and L. told Respondent she had to leave, and she left his office.

On or after October 11, 20122, Respondent attempted to contact L. four to five times by telephone on several occasions. L. took one call and asked Respondent if her bond could be lowered. Respondent agreed to seek a bond reduction.

On October 18, 2012, Respondent appeared with L. before the court and requested a reduction in bond. The court reduced bond by $500.00. Respondent then offered L. a ride home and she told him that her mother was picking her up. Respondent then asked L. to go back to his office to wait, and she agreed.

When Respondent and L. were in his office following the court hearing, Respondent did not discuss her case. Respondent locked the door, and kissed L. and again inserted his tongue into her mouth. Respondent touched L.’s breasts under her shirt, and touched her between her legs, over her pants. He also rubbed her shoulders.

L. started to leave and Respondent asked her to come back the following Saturday "when no one was there." L. asked why, and Respondent said "I want to lick your pussy and suck your clit."

L. did not attend the Saturday appointment, nor did she speak to Respondent again after October 18, 2012.

After her second meeting with Respondent, L. retained a private attorney, Jeanine Garrett. On November 15, 2012, the court vacated Respondent’s appearance in all of L.'s pending cases in Coles County.

Count Two:

Respondent and [client] B. were the only people present in Respondent’s office when B. entered the office.

B. sat down in a chair in front of Respondent’s desk. Respondent did not sit at a chair behind his desk, but pulled up a chair so he was sitting directly in front of B. Respondent placed one of his legs between B.’s legs, and began to rub B.’s leg slowly.

Respondent thereafter asked B. questions about her personal life, including questions about her boyfriend.

After B. told Respondent she could not work due to a neck injury, Respondent got up and walked behind B. and started rubbing B’s neck and shoulders.

B. asked Respondent if he treated all his clients this way and Respondent said "only the special ones."

Respondent sat down after rubbing B.’s shoulders and started rubbing her leg again.

B. was feeling uncomfortable and stressed, got up and told Respondent she had to leave.

Respondent stood and hugged B., pulling her body close to his so that their bodies were touching.

After B. left Respondent’s office, she entered the car where [her boyfriend] Pittman was waiting for her, and she started crying. After B. told Pittman what had happened, she and Pittman went to the Charleston police department and made a report.

The Charleston police department referred the matter to the Coles County States’ Attorneys office, and no charges were filed.

And Count Three

...H. went to Respondent’s office at 11:00 a.m. After Respondent let H. in to his office, Respondent locked the door behind them and took her to a conference room. No one else was present at Respondent’s office.

After H. sat down, Respondent pulled up a chair next to her and said "I’m glad I got assigned to your case."

H. asked Respondent if he usually had Saturday appointments and Respondent said "I do if there is a pretty blond woman."

Respondent then said to H. "tell me about yourself," and asked her about her boyfriend, whether she had had "affairs" and whether she had "affairs" while seeing her current boyfriend. H. responded that she loved her boyfriend and would not have an affair.

Respondent started touching H’s face, and H. told Respondent she felt weird about him touching her. Respondent said "I don’t want you to feel weird about it."

During the approximately 45 minutes that H. was in Respondent’s office, Respondent did not ask her many questions about her case. H. stood up and told Respondent she had to leave, and she left his office.

H.’s next scheduled appearance in case number 2012 CF 242 was on August 27, 2012. She did not appear as scheduled because she forgot about the court date. Later on August 27, 2012, H. called Respondent about the missed court date.

Respondent told H. that he "covered" for her and that "there are different ways to pay me back."

Respondent then asked H. to come to his office on Saturday, September 1, 2012 for another appointment. H. agreed to go, but later asked her boyfriend, Bruce Brewer ("Brewer") to come with her so she would not have to be alone with Respondent.

On September 1, 2012, H. and Brewer went to Respondent’s office. Respondent discussed her case with her, and she and Brewer left after 15 minutes.

At H’s next court date, September 4, 2012, after the hearing Respondent asked H. to wait for him in the hallway outside the courtroom. H. waited for him on a bench.

Respondent came out of the courtroom and sat next to H., close enough so that his legs were touching her legs. H. moved down the bench several times, and each time, Respondent also moved down the bench so that he was sitting close to her.

Respondent touched H.’s inner thigh, between her waist and knee and rubbed her thigh for about five seconds. H. again moved away from Respondent.

Respondent said "are you afraid of me" to H. and she said "No, it just looks like you want to sit right on top of me."

Respondent then said "would you like that?" and H. said "no" and she got up and left.

On November 5, 2012, following another court date in case number 2012 PR 242, Respondent again asked H. to wait for him in the hall. H. waited on the bench, and Respondent came out of the courtroom and sat next to her, and told her she would have to do two weekends in the county jail. He then touched her inner thigh, and H. stood up and said "I’ve had enough of you touching my thigh." Respondent said he "didn’t mean anything" by it.

(Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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