Feds try to introduce tawdry evidence in Lakin trial

Steve Gonzalez Sep. 3, 2007, 8:14am

If U.S. District Judge J. Philip Gilbert allows certain evidence into Tom Lakin's criminal trial, witness "John Doe 2" will testify that the once-powerful Metro-East plaintiff's lawyer "sexually groomed" him as a teenage minor.

That's according to a motion filed by federal prosecutors on Aug. 31.

"Evidence used only to show a defendant's bad character is not admissible," wrote U.S. Attorney Stephen Clark. "The evidence that the government seeks to admit in this case, however, is relevant to issues other than character – it is relevant to show the defendant's intent, motive, preparation, and plan."

Said evidence paints a detailed, sordid picture of the 65 year-old Lakin's alleged sexual relationship with "John Doe 2," then age 15.

The motion says federal prosecutors allege Lakin repeatedly asked the minor to have sex with him at his East Alton home, even at one point promising him a Cadillac Escalade in return. When "John Doe 2" rebuffed Lakin's overtures, according to prosecutors, the lawyer asked him to have sex with assorted females, including a 17 year-old girl.

Lakin is charged with taking "John Doe 2" on vacation to Malibu, California in May 2005 expressly "for the purpose of illegal sex."

"The other instances in which Lakin engaged in and requested... sex with "John Doe 2" are therefore relevant to show the intent of 65-year-old Lakin to cause this 15-year-old victim to travel in interstate commerce," wrote Clark.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Burke, who successfully prosecuted former Lakin employee Gary Peel earlier this year on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges, assists Clark in the prosecution.

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