Friday, September 13, 2013
In 1974, Respondent admittedly took sexually explicit pictures of the sixteen year old sister, D.R., of his then wife, Debra Peel. Respondent kept the pictures. In November 2003, Respondent and Debra Peel obtained a divorce. As part of the settlement of dissolution, Respondent was required to meet certain financial obligations to Debra. In 2005, Respondent filed for bankruptcy and sought to discharge his obligations to Debra under the judgment of dissolution. Debra filed an objection in the bankruptcy case. In January 2006, Respondent telephoned Debra and informed her of the sexual relationship with D.R. during their marriage. He informed her that if she did not drop her bankruptcy challenge and reduce his financial obligations to her by approximately three-quarters of one million dollars, he would mail the pictures of D.R. to his ex-wife's elderly parents.
Following the conversation, Debra found the copies of the photographs in her mailbox and contacted law enforcement. In further telephone conversations, with the cooperation of law enforcement, Respondent agreed to turn over the original pictures only if Debra signed a new settlement agreement. Debra and Respondent met and the agreement and pictures were exchanged. The FBI then retrieved the original photographs and through further investigation obtained evidence of the photographs from Respondent's printer.
Respondent was arrested, and was indicted in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The indictment charged him with one count each of bankruptcy fraud and obstruction of justice and two counts of possession of child pornography. On March 23, 2007, a jury convicted Respondent of all four counts of the indictment. On November 19, 2007, Respondent was sentenced to twelve years in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised relese.
The attorney had prevailed in a 1990 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving advertising as a specialist.
The Madison-St. Clair Record reports that he is continuing to challenge the conviction. (Mike Frisch)