Thursday, December 6, 2018

Sex Crimes With Child Involve Moral Turpitude

Sex offenses against a child involve moral turpitude per se requiring disbarment, according to a decision issued today by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals

the Board on Professional Responsibility has recommended that respondent Micah Jared Smith be disbarred from the practice of law after he was convicted in the state of Delaware of one count of Continuous Abuse of a Child, one count of Sex Abuse of a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust,  and three counts of Unlawful Sexual Contact in the First Degree,  urging that at least one of these convictions is a crime of moral turpitude per se. Neither respondent nor Disciplinary Counsel filed any exceptions to the Board’s report.

The court had not previously considered the moral turpitude issue with respect to these state offenses

In this case, respondent’s convictions on one count of Continuous Abuse of a Child and one count of Sex Abuse of a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust were based on his instances of sex abuse of a relative who was a minor and over whom respondent exerted control and authority; therefore, these convictions, at a minimum, constitute crimes involving moral turpitude per se. Therefore, having found respondent committed crimes of moral turpitude per se, the required sanction is to disbar him from the practice of law.

(Mike Frisch)

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