Lakin suit to stay in St. Clair County

Ann Knef Jan. 11, 2007, 10:48am

Thomas Lakin

A civil sexual assault lawsuit against Thomas Lakin will remain in St. Clair County, ruled Associate Judge James Radcliffe III on Thursday afternoon.

One week earlier, Radcliffe ordered the suit be moved to Madison County following a hearing on a defense motion to transfer.

At today's hearing, Lakin's attorney, Clyde Kuehn, said he and his co-counsel agreed "not more than 10 seconds" after Radcliffe's ruling that letting the case go might create a problem.

Kuehn said attorney Rex Carr, representing co-defendants Bradley Lakin, Kristopher Lakin and the Lakin Law Firm, thought the case might end up in front of "some judge from far off land."

Radcliffe admonished Kuehn because plaintiff's attorney Thomas Q. Keefe raised the issue during last week's hearing.

Keefe had argued, "You're not going to find a judge" in Madison County to take the case, and it would be "impossible" to get an impartial jury in a county where some 150 witnesses may be called.

Radcliffe told Kuehn he should do his "strategizing" before coming to court.

Keefe was curious about Kuehn and Carr's motive for changing their minds. He said if the defense motion to transfer was denied, defendants would have had an automatic appeal.

He said the petition to withdraw the motion to transfer "further delayed" the case, which was filed in June.

The suit claims Thomas Lakin had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy. Kris Lakin also is accused of childhood sexual abuse against minor plaintiffs.

The Lakin Firm is accused of covering up Thomas Lakin's sexual relationship with a minor.

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