(CN) – The West Virginia Supreme Court disbarred attorney G. Patrick Stanton Jr. for falsely claiming to represent a woman in order to visit her in jail. A guard walked in on Stanton receiving oral sex from her in the visitation area, the ruling states.
The Lawyer Disciplinary Board recommended that Stanton be suspended for one year, but the state high court voted to revoke his law license instead.
Stanton had represented Rose Auvil from 1992 to 2003, and acknowledged that the two began a sexual relationship in 1986. The ruling states that Stanton sometimes paid Auvil for “sexual activities,” though he denies this.
He used his state bar membership card to gain access to Auvil in prison twice in 2005, including the visit during which Auvil gave him oral sex, according to the ruling.
At the time, Stanton was working as a prosecuting attorney and was unable to represent criminal clients.
“Jail or prison officials should not have to over-analyze the motivations of an attorney who seeks to meet with an incarcerated individual whom he states or implies is his client,” the justices wrote in a per-curiam decision.
“His conduct fell so far below what should be reasonably expected of attorneys as to be shocking to this court,” the court wrote.
“Accepting any sanction other than disbarment does not send a clear and resounding message to the bar, the public and other interested parties, including jail and prison authorities who must work with attorneys on a daily basis.”