Judge Matoesian recuses himself from Lakins' countersuit

By Steve Gonzalez | May 23, 2006

Brad Lakin

Ed Unsell

Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian recused himself from a malicious prosecution countersuit filed by Bradley Lakin, the Lakin Law Firm and Kristopher Lakin against attorney Ed Unsell and his clients who sued the Lakins in an alleged sexual assault matter involving minors.

Legendary plaintiff's attorney Rex Carr of East St. Louis claims his well known clients, the Lakins, were victims of a $50 million extortion scheme, according to a civil lawsuit filed in Madison County Circuit Court May 17.

The Lakins' suit was filed in response to a sexual assault suit filed by Unsell's clients on April 21. Unsell's clients allege that Lakin Law Firm founder Thomas Lakin sexually abused minors and Brad Lakin and Kristopher Lakin and the law firm covered it up.

The plaintiffs claim that Brad and Kristopher Lakin solicited the mother of John Doe to seek treatment in Canada to avoid detection of sexual abuse by local authorities, destroyed evidence at a home owned by Thomas Lakin, and then sold the home.

Allegations against Thomas Lakin, more specifically, are that he 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.

Before filing his countersuit, Brad Lakin issued a statement denying the claims made by Unsell's clients.

"The allegations of wrongdoing are lies, plain and simple," the statement begins.

"I did not conceal evidence. The people making these allegations demanded 50 million dollars. I refused and am now not surprised they made their lawsuit public.

"Let me be clear, I will not pay a dime."

"I never asked for this case to be kept secret. I look forward to the time when the people who made these allegations in secret are willing to reveal themselves to this community and have to answer for these claims."

The Lakins' suit against Unsell and his clients allege they began a conspiracy sometime in 2005 to maliciously prosecute a civil action containing multiple counts against them in order to extort large sums of money from them.

The suit claims that on April 21, the defendants filed a case without probable cause and then sealed the case without legal justification.

"The charges made by these conspirator defendants were wholly and completely false and maliciously stated," Lakins' suit states.

The Lakins claim that the defendants intended to force them to pay large sums of money to them so that they could avoid the publicity that would result from the case and in return promised to keep the case under seal.

When the Lakins refused to pay money, according to the suit, the case was unsealed and the malicious charges were made public.

"By reason of the malicious prosecution, plaintiffs have lost, and will in the future lose large sums of money in income and profit from the practice of law and their respective occupations," the complaint alleges.

The Lakins claimed that the defendants also abused the court procedures by withdrawing the suit on the pretext that they wanted to protect the minors and caused the suit to be expunged from the records of the court because the defendants knew that it should never have been sealed at the time of filing.

The Lakins also claim that on May 11, the defendants demanded a payment of $50 million by May 22, or the case would be filed again, this time not under seal.

L. Thomas Lakin is not a plaintiff in the case filed by Carr. The suit does not refute allegations made against Thomas Lakin in the defendants' April 21 suit.

The case is now in Chief Judge Ann Callis' office awaiting her order of reassignment.

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