ARDC files complaint against Tom Lakin

Steve Gonzalez Dec. 20, 2006, 6:02am

L. Thomas Lakin

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission has filed a complaint against Lakin Law Firm founder Lowell Thomas Lakin charging him with sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a minor and with delivering controlled substances.

The complaint alleges that between April and October of 2005 Lakin performed at least 10 acts of sexual penetration on a male minor child, as well as gave and received oral sex from the boy.

The child, identified as "T.Z." in the complaint released today by the ARDC, is the son of Sandra Zeller, a former employee of Lakin's.

She has a pending civil sexual assault lawsuit pending against Lakin in St. Clair County.

Her attorney in that case, Ed Unsell of East Alton, declined to comment how the complaint would affect the civil case but admitted he reported Lakin to the ARDC on Aug. 23, due to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 8.3 which sets forth the mandatory duty a lawyer has to report his knowledge, not protected by the attorney-client privilege, that another lawyer or judge has committed serious misconduct.

Unsell said that if he did not report Lakin, he could have faced his own problems with the ARDC due to the Himmel case in which a lawyer was suspended for one year for failure to report his unprivileged knowledge of conversion of settlement funds by client's prior lawyer.

Lakin is currently on an inactive status with the ARDC, meaning he cannot practice law. He voluntarily went on inactive status in March.

The complaint also alleges Lakin gave another minor, identified as A.P., cocaine in June or July 2005.

After Lakin allegedly gave A.P. cocaine, he encouraged the two minors (T.Z. and A.P.) to have sex in his bedroom while he watched and masturbated, according to the complaint.

The ARDC also claims Lakin encouraged and allowed other adult females to have sex with the minor boy (T.Z.) while he watched and masturbated.

The complaint also alleges that Lakin sexually exploited Zeller's other minor son "Tr.Z." in 1997 and 1998, when Lakin and "Tr.Z." masturbated together.

It also claims that Lakin touched the boy's (Tr.Z.) penis for sexual gratification.

The ARDC complaint also claims that during the year 2005, Lakin provided cocaine at his residence to A.P., Becky Burch, Tina Parker, Jessica Hawkins, Amy Martin, Khara Martin and Lisa Fry.

The complaint claims Lakin, who was licensed in Illinois in 1970, engaged in activity that tends to "defeat the administration of justice or which brings the courts or the legal profession into disrepute."

Attorney Joseph Tighe of Chicago is representing Lakin.

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