Friday, June 16, 2017
The New Jersey Supreme Court has disbarred an attorney convicted of offenses and serving a 12-year prison sentence.
The Disciplinary Review Board rejected his attempt to delay the matter
On June 27, 2016, respondent sent a letter to the Office of Board Counsel (OBC) seeking an adjournment until his release from federal prison. He argued that, as a federal prisoner, he has no access to New Jersey case law or to the internet. He contended that due process and simple notions of fairness
required a continuance of the matter. Respondent argued that his incarceration prevents him from practicing law and, therefore, no significant impact on the disciplinary process or on the public as a whole would result from the delay in proceeding with this matter. We denied respondent’s adjournment request on July 7, 2016.
in May 2010, he began chatting over the internet with a person whom he believed, at the time, to be a thirty-two year-old mother of a nine-year-old girl living in the Atlanta, Georgia, area. Unbeknownst to him, however, he was communicating with an undercover law enforcement officer. Respondent made contact with the "mother" in an on-line chat room titled, "child sex slaves." In this chat room, respondent identified himself as "m50sperv." He and the mother discussed respondent having sex with both the mother and her nine-year-old daughter.
Over a three-week period, respondent sent photos of himself to the mother, and explained how she could access child pornography on the internet in order to acclimate her daughter to the notion of engaging in sex with him. He also described the sex acts in which he wanted to engage with the mother and daughter. At some point, respondent and the mother spoke on the phone to arrange a specific date for him to meet with her and her daughter.
Eventually, respondent purchased an airline ticket to travel from New Jersey to Atlanta. Respondent never made it to the airport, however, because, prior to his scheduled flight, he was arrested by law enforcement officers in New Jersey for soliciting a different putative mother/daughter pair for sex.
He also was convicted of state crimes.
Unfortunately, we are confronted with yet another attorney who has behaved in a manner that reflects poorly on the profession. With each case involving the sexual exploitation of children, our hope is that it will be the last. Sadly, that has yet to be the case and it is unlikely that the instant matter will be the last.
In our view, the conduct in this case should result in disbarment.
The court agreed. (Mike Frisch)