July 20, 2014

That's A Very Big No-No

Fun story of the day comes from Kentucky, by way of the Lexington Herald-Leader (with a h/t to Above the Law). In short, a prosecutor carried on an affair with a defendant in a felony drug case, impregnated her, and then moved to revoke her probation after she told his wife and ended the relationship. Way to keep it classy, Kentucky.

Wayne County Prosecutor Matthew Leveridge apparently began the two-month affair with Latisha Lashley Sartain around the beginning of the year, carrying out the clandestine meetings in his office. At some point, Sartain spilled the beans to Leveridge's wife, who has since filed for divorce, citing his numerous affairs, alcohol abuse, and mental health issues. There doesn't appear to be any dispute that Leveridge did the deed with the defendant. Putting aside the coercive nature of the relationship, the question of whether such sex can ever be truly consensual, or if Leveridge's conduct violated any criminal laws or ethical rules, the whole thing seems icky.

The quote of the day comes from Sartain's attorney, Larry Rogers, who is trying to stave off any future retaliatory violations for his client, whose exposure runs through 2016:

If you're a prosecutor, you're not even supposed to talk to a defendant without her attorney being present, much less — well, this. Universally, I think everyone would agree this is a big, big, big no-no.

You think? In case you were wondering, Leveridge recused himself from Sartain's case, and the prosecutor who stepped in dropped the revocation charges. All's well that ends well.


  1. Kentucky is certainly not as classy as New York, the home of statesmen such as Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner.