Lawyer charged with having child porn gave alcohol to minor in 1980s

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Nov. 02, 2012, at 3:23 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The local lawyer and businessman accused of having child pornography on his home computers was reprimanded by the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar in 1991 for giving alcohol to a minor at various times between February 1986 and April 1988.

Richard D. Violette Jr., 53, of Bangor was indicted Wednesday on one count of possession of sexually explicit materials, a Class C crime.

Investigators found child pornography on computers seized from his Broadway home in April, according to the Penobscot County district attorney’s office. Bangor police began investigating Violette after another law enforcement agency linked his IP address to the downloading of known child pornography, according to the district attorney’s office.

Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County, said Thursday no evidence was found that Violette produced the images or used them to meet children online or in person.

Violette’s arraignment date has not been set.

He does not have a criminal record, according to the Maine State Bureau of Identification and Criminal History Record, but has been reprimanded twice by the Board of Overseers of the Bar.

Efforts to reach Violette or an attorney representing him were unsuccessful Friday.

A three-person disciplinary panel of the Board of Overseers concluded on Dec. 12, 1991, following a disciplinary hearing that Violette had “engage[d] in illegal conduct that adversely reflect[ed] on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.” It issued a four-page public reprimand that is posted on the board’s website.

“The mission of the Board of Overseers of the Bar is to encourage and promote competent and ethical practice by members of the Maine bar, and to make these standards known to members of the public, so that they have confidence in the legal profession in Maine,” according to information on its website.

The person who filed the complaint is not named in the reprimand decision nor is the date when the complaint was filed. The male minor to whom Violette admitted giving alcohol also was not identified.

Violette acknowledged at the hearing in 1991 that he had violated bar rules by giving the minor alcohol, according to the ruling. He also agreed that a reprimand was an appropriate sanction.

The boy was about 13 when he met Violette, according to the board’s ruling. The boy’s family and the attorney lived in the same neighborhood.

The lawyer was 27 and the minor was 17 when Violette admitted giving him alcoholic beverages on trips and at Violette’s home, according to the board’s ruling.

“During [a February 1987] Florida trip, Violette and the minor together both indulged in the consumption of alcoholic beverages furnished by Violette to the point where they became intoxicated,” the ruling said.

The two continued to drink together until April 1988, when the minor was a freshman at the University of Maine, the document said. Their relationship ended that same month.

Furnishing alcohol to a minor is a Class D crime that today is punishable by up to a year in prison and a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and a maximum fine of $2,000.

Violette was reprimanded again in January 1996 for failing to file an appeal on behalf of a client who was sentenced to 12 years in prison on a drug conviction in 1985.

If convicted on the child pornography charge, Violette faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/11/02/news/lawyer-charged-with-having-child-porn-gave-alcohol-to-minor-in-1980s/ printed on July 29, 2014