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Monday, February 25, 2013

Female judge, 52, faces discipline for 'having sex with client' in prison interview room

A 52-year-old Indiana judge faces professional misconduct charges after she allegedly had sex with a inmate half her age in an interview room while he was in prison.

Lisa Traylor-Wolff works part time as a senior judge in two northern Indiana counties. She also works as a defense lawyer.

The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications says she began a 'physically intimate relationship with a 26-year-old client' who was represented in private practice.

The relationship allegedly continued after he was sentenced to prison. Traylor-Wolff represented him as he appealed the conviction, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The commission found that she had 'inappropriate contact' with the young man in an attorney-client meeting room at the Miami Correctional Facility in Peru, Indiana.

Traylor-Wolff did not ask for her judgeship to be renewed for 2013.

She has 20 days to file a response and after that, the case will go to the Indiana Supreme Court.

She formerly served as a Superior Court judge in Pulaski County and was the head of her county's Bar Association.

Traylor-Wollf has not responded to requests for comment.

She is formally accused of violating four rules of professional conduct, including restrictions that prohibits a lawyer from having sexual relations with a client, prohibits a lawyer from representing a client if there is a significant risk that the representation will be materially limited by a personal interest of the lawyer, and requires a judge to promote confidence in the integrity of the judiciary and to avoid impropriety.

She is also accused of undermining the independence integrity and impartiality as a judge.

If Traylor-Wolff is found guilty, the state Supreme Court can bar her from holding judicial office in the state - up to an including a lifetime ban.

It is unknown whether the Indiana State Bar Association is also investigating the case.

Traylor-Wollf graduated from Valparaiso University law school in 1986 - likely the year her allegedly sexual partner was born.

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