Threats to Mistress Get Indiana Lawyer Disbarred

     INDIANAPOLIS (CN) – An attorney who flooded his former mistress with thousands of harassing phone calls and emails should be disbarred, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
     The Tuesday opinion says Fort Wayne attorney Mark Keaton’s pattern of misconduct toward his ex included several years of violent threats and profanity-laden rants. A three-count complaint by the court’s disciplinary commission prompted the findings that ruling adopts.
     When their relationship began in 2005, Keaton was married and 41 years old. The woman, identified only as JD in the court record, was an Indiana University sophomore and roommates with Keaton’s daughter.
     Keaton began sending JD threats and accusing her of being mentally ill when she broke off the relationship in 2008.
     “The scores of voicemails and thousands of emails sent by Respondent to JD are abusive, threatening and extremely manipulative,” the unsigned opinion states.
     Keaton’s communications often escalated into threatening his own suicide if JD wouldn’t respond, with one email saying: “I’m leaving the house for the roof. You must call and stop more or I’m gone. These emails will persist and everyone will find them and know you didn’t call.”
     The hearing officer also found that Keaton maintained a blog about JD in which he published long rants and explicit of photographs of her, while never including himself in any pictures.
     Keaton still refuses to destroy or permanently delete the blog, according to the ruling.
     JD was in law school in the fall of 2008 when Keaton approached her in a student library and demanded that she have coffee with him.
     Though JD alerted her dean at this point, and the dean asked Keaton to stop contacting JD, Keaton responded by saying he was violating no law or ethical rule.
     Maintaining that he was “blameless in the matter,” Keaton said JD was “happily engaged in” the email communications, according to the ruling.
     Despite changing her phone number, JD found she could not stop Keaton from finding her. He used more than 17 email addresses and fake social media profiles to communicate with her, according to the ruling.
     Ten days after the Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Commission notified Keaton about its investigation into his conduct with JD in February 2012, Keaton filed a pro se civil complaint against JD, alleging malicious prosecution and abuse of process.
     Keaton again took to ligation that May, this time filing a federal case against JD and others, claiming unlawful arrest related to a drunken-driving conviction for which he was under probation in Allen County, Ind.
     In addition to finding that Keaton’s behavior violated professional conduct policy, the commission determined in a separate matter that the attorney had mishandled a man’s unemployment appeal by never filing appropriate paperwork and failing to remit funds to the man, whom the court record describes as DS.
     Keaton’s, “repugnant pattern of behavior and utter lack of remorse with respect to the events involving JD, his deceitful responses and lack of candor toward the Commission, his neglect involving DS’s appeal, his inability or unwilling to appreciate the wrongfulness of his misconduct … lead us unhesitatingly to conclude that disbarment is warranted,” the Supreme Court opinion states.

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