Judge Shuts Down Defense Attorney’s Request to Delay Sexual Assault Trial

During a status hearing on Jan. 24, DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan denied a defense attorney’s request to set the beginning of a sexual assault trial at a later date out of frustration with his workload.

In 2019, Michael Lawlor’s client was charged with four counts of sexual assault for allegedly assaulting a coworker. At the time of the assault, both the assailant and the victim served as officers under the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). According to court documents, the assault occurred while both were off duty and at a spa owned by the defendant’s wife. It was while receiving a cellulite treatment at this spa that the victim said she was assaulted. 

Lawlor urged Judge Raffinan to set the beginning of the trial for later this Spring. He said he was overwhelmed with his caseload and thought it best to seek local counsel for the sake of his client. 

When pressed by the prosecution, Lawlor added that he was set aback by the retirement of the previous attorney on this case, Jenifer Wicks.

Judge Raffinan insisted that this was no excuse seeing that Wicks retired nearly 2 years prior in the fall of 2021. 

However, Lawlor provided a series of seemingly adequate excuses stating that he was assigned to about a dozen of the upcoming “January 6th” cases set to begin this year. 

Raffinan disputed the gravity of the cases, saying “There are deadlines that are set. I’ll be sympathetic to someone who is responsive” alluding to Lawlor’s lack of communication with both the prosecution and the court in this matter. 

Judge Raffinan set the upcoming status hearing to occur on Jan. 31 and urged Lawlor to “respond to his emails by Friday.”

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