EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A former lawyer will serve 12 years in federal prison for trying to blackmail his wife with nude photographs of her sister, taken decades ago, when the woman was a teen-ager.
Gary Peel, 63, contacted his ex-wife, Deborah, in January 2006, told her about the affair with her sister and threatened to send the nude pictures to her elderly parents if she did not agree to a settlement in their divorce, court papers state.
Deborah Peel notified authorities and Gary Peel was charged with bankruptcy fraud, obstruction of justice and possession of child pornography.
Gary Peel delivered a 45-minute statement during his sentencing, where he offered an apology for the affair, stated that he didn't think his actions were criminal and blasted family members for living extravagant lifestyles off of his salary and embarrassing him by giving personal information to a local legal publication.
Peel was a trial lawyer in the St. Louis Metro area who worked at the powerful Lakin Law Firm. Lakin has also had recent, highly publicized legal troubles. Tom Lakin was indicted in April on cocaine charges and accused of transporting a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.