Lakin wants sexual assault complaint transferred to Madison County

Steve Gonzalez Jul. 27, 2006, 9:29am

Tom Lakin

Brad Lakin

Attorney Tom Lakin filed a motion to transfer a sexual assault suit filed against him and two of his children out of St. Clair County, citing forum non conveniens.

Represented by Clyde Kuehn of Belleville and Scott Rosenblum of Clayton, the motion claims that the suit has no practicable connection or nexus to St. Clair County.

"The plaintiffs' complaint is devoid of any allegations that any of the alleged events surrounding this case occurred in St. Clair County," the motion states.

The motion also claims that the complaint does not state where the alleged sexual assault took place and also notes that all of the parties involved in the litigation reside in neighboring Madison County.

"When a plaintiff sues in the county of his residence it is reasonable to assume that the choice of forum is convenient," the motion states.

"However, when a plaintiff is foreign to the forum chosen and the action that gives rise to the litigation did not occur in the chosen forum, the assumption of convenience is no longer reasonable."

"Instead, it is reasonable to conclude that the plaintiff engaged in forum shopping to suit his individual interests, a strategy contrary to the purposes behind the venue rules,' the motion states.

The motion also points out that witnesses who can refute allegations of wrongdoing all live in Madison County.

"The case imposes potentially unfair trial expenses and jury duty burdens to St. Clair County residents," the motion claims.

Lakin claims that if the case is allowed to proceed in St. Clair County he will be denied due process of law guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution of the United States as well as Section Two, Article One of the Illinois Constitution.

"Tom Lakin respectfully requests this court enter an order transferring this case to Madison County, the forum convenient for resolution of this litigation."

Lakin also filed a motion to dismiss the suit or in the alternative asks that the pleading be made more definite and certain.

Lakin claims that the plaintiffs have failed to plea facts that give rise to a cause of action which relief can be granted.

The suit filed June 14 by Thomas Keefe of Swansea, claims that Tom Lakin willfully and intentionally engaged in acts of misconduct that constitute childhood sexual abuse against Jane, John and Joseph Doe.

Kris Lakin also is accused of childhood sexual abuse against Jane and John Doe.

According to the lawsuit, Tom Lakin, founder of the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River, was a friend of the minors' family and at various times engaged in one or more of the following willful and wanton acts of misconduct which constitutes childhood sexual abuse of plaintiff John Doe:

  • had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor plaintiff when he engaged in oral sex with the minor child;
  • had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor plaintiff when he solicited minor females to have sex with the minor plaintiff in his presence;
  • had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor plaintiff when he solicited two adult females to have sex with minor plaintiff in his presence; and
  • had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor plaintiff when he solicited the minor plaintiff to have sex with various females while he gratified his own sexual desires by masturbating while watching the minor plaintiff.

    In March, former Lakin Law Firm attorney Gary Peel was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of child pornography, obstruction of justice and bankruptcy fraud.

    The lawsuit against the Lakins claims that Brad Lakin, Tom Lakin's son and president of the Lakin Law Firm, and another son Kristopher Lakin, attempted to conceal evidence of abuse.

    "During the year 2005 and subsequent to the foregoing episodes of childhood sexual abuse, L. Thomas Lakin conspired with other members of the Lakin Law Firm, specifically, Bradley Lakin and Kristopher Lakin to secret and spoil evidence of the sexual abuse," the complaint states.

    Circuit Judge Robert LeChien is assigned the case.

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