Hudson Valley’s ‘Most Respected’ Attorney Suspended For Two Years
Westfair Online reports that Wayne Thatcher has been suspended from practicing law. The verdict came down last week and will go into effect at the end of the month. The Poughkeepsie lawyer admitted to sexually touching a female client and was found guilty of assault last year. Thatcher was sentenced to jail for 45 days in January.
Nine women in total lodged complaints against Thatcher for incidents that date back as far as 2006. The latest accusation was made by a client of Thatcher who was in jail for drug possession. After agreeing to wear a wire and record her interactions with Thatcher, the court found him guilty of touching the woman and squeezing her buttocks for "his own sexual desire." Thatcher insisted that he was just joking around, but the court found him guilty of assault and sentenced him to jail.
During last week's hearing with five appellate judges, Thatcher's lawyer argued that his client served his time and should be allowed to continue to practice law. The judges disagreed, saying that Thatcher was not remorseful for his actions and they believe he would have continued with his illegal behavior if he was not caught.
The ruling says Thatcher "engaged in nonconsensual physical conduct with a client to gratify a sexual desire. Committed in the confines and privacy of the respondent’s law office, the conduct would have continued and gone unchecked, but for the client’s cooperation with law enforcement. The conduct was not isolated."
The suspension will begin on October 25 and continue for two years.
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