Former assistant public defender found guilty of having sex with a client in return for promising to work harder on her case.

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From the (Albany NY) Times Union:

… The six-member panel convicted Matthew Swedick, 39, of one misdemeanor count of official misconduct. He was acquitted on two other counts of the same charge.

The case against him goes back two years when he was assigned to represent Latoya Gorton on drug charges following an April 2007 raid on the Albany home Gorton shared with a boyfriend.

Gorton testified when the attorney-client relationship started Swedick essentially told her he would work harder, prioritize her case and treat her as a private-paying client if she engaged in sex with him. Those allegations constituted criminal activity because of Swedick’s role as an attorney on the public payroll, Special Prosecutor Michael Koenig said.

Had Swedick been privately retained, it is unlikely he would have been criminally prosecuted for the identical behavior, though he might have received professional sanctions, see e.g. this, this, and this. In a recent Florida case, now disbarred lawyer James Harvey Tipler: “represented a client, an 18-year-old mother, in Bay County, Florida, on a charge of aggravated assault. Tipler charged his client a fee of $2,300 and entered into a fee agreement with her that allowed a”credit of $200 for each time she engaged in sex with Respondent”and a”$400 credit if she arranged for other females to have sex with him.”For his misdeeds, Tipler was charged with racketeering and four counts of prostitution. He ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of solicitation of prostitution” per this article.

–Ann Bartow

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