Lakin sexual assault case continued

Ann Knef Dec. 6, 2006, 10:17am

Attorney Thomas Lakin's pending civil sexual assault case has once again been continued.

All pending motions in the highly publicized lawsuit, in which Lakin is accused of, among other things, having sex with a 15-year-old male, were to be heard Wednesday afternoon by St. Clair County Circuit Judge James Radcliffe, III.

The lawsuit was filed June 14 by Lakin's former employee and her children, John Doe, by his mother and friend, Julie Doe, Joseph Doe, Jane Doe, by her mother and friend, Julie Doe, Mary Doe and James Doe. The suit also names Lakin's sons Bradley and Kristopher Lakin and the Lakin Law Firm as defendants.

Plaintiffs' attorney Thomas Q. Keefe of Belleville asked to continue the case due to a scheduling conflict.

The case was continued in October and will likely not be heard until next month.

The lawsuit was first filed under seal in Madison County in April.

After a report was published about the lawsuit, it was withdrawn at plaintiff's request on May 5 and expunged by Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack who was assigned to the case. On May 12, the circuit's new Chief Judge Ann Callis vacated all of the previous orders in the case regarding impoundment and expungement.

The suit claims Tom Lakin 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.

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

The suit accuses all of the defendants of a conspiracy to "conceal and hide the sexual abuse by tacitly or explicitly agreeing to commit overt acts to secret and spoil evidence."

They claim the Lakins solicited the mother of minors to seek treatment in Canada to avoid detection of sexual abuse by local authorities, destroyed evidence at a home owned by Tom Lakin, and then sold the home.

Mary Doe, the mother of the minor children and James Doe, the step-father, claim Tom Lakin filed harassing lawsuits against them, evicted them and their family from their rental home he owned, conducted surveillance on their children and had conversations with their teachers, repossessed a car their minor daughter was driving while she was at school and threatened her with further lawsuits for slander and punitive damages.

In late July, Tom Lakin's lawyers, Clyde Kuehn of Belleville and Scott Rosenblum of Clayton, Mo., filed a motion to transfer the case out of St. Clair County citing forum non conveniens.

The motion points out, among other things, 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.

On Aug. 16, a lawsuit claiming Brad Lakin, Kris Lakin and the Lakin Law Firm were victims of a $50 million extortion scheme was dismissed in Madison County by Judge Stack.

The counter-suit claimed that the individuals and their attorney (Ed Unsell) who filed a civil sexual assault lawsuit against Lakin Law Firm founder Thomas Lakin, his firm and sons, attempted to leverage a $50 million cash settlement.

Steve Gonzalez contributed to this report.

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