BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD
OF THE
ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION
AND
DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION

In the Matter of:

ERIC TYRONE TOLEN,

Attorney-Respondent, 

No. 6194108.

 

Commission No. 08 SH 120

FILED -  December 19, 2008

COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Gary S. Rapaport, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 761(d), complains of Respondent, Eric Tyrone Tolen, who was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois on January 1, 1986, and alleges that Respondent has engaged in the following conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or which brings the courts or the legal profession into disrepute:

Criminal Conviction - 36 Counts of Statutory Sodomy and One Count of
Victim Tampering

1. The Missouri Criminal Code defines the felony offense of statutory sodomy in the first degree as "deviate sexual intercourse with another person who is less than fourteen years old." XXXVIII Missouri Revised Statutes, section 566.062.

2. The Missouri Criminal Code defines the felony offense of statutory sodomy in the second degree as "deviate sexual intercourse with another person who is less than seventeen years of age," by a person who is 21 years of age or older. XXXVIII Missouri Revised Statutes, section 566.064.

3. The Missouri Criminal Code defines "deviate sexual intercourse" as "any act involving the genitals of one person and the hand, mouth, tongue, or anus of another person or a sexual act involving the penetration, however slight, of the male or female sex organ or the anus by a finger, instrument or object done for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person or for the purpose of terrorizing the victim." XXXVIII Missouri Revised Statutes, section 566.010.

4. Between June 21, 1995, and June 2, 1996, Respondent performed acts deviate sexual intercourse with B.S., a minor, when B.S. was under the age of 14.

5. Between June 3, 1996, and June 2, 1999, Respondent performed acts of deviate sexual intercourse with B.S. when B.S. was 14 years of age or older, but was under the age of 17.

6. Between August 10, 1999, and August 9, 2001, Respondent performed acts of deviate sexual intercourse with M.M., a minor who was under the age of 17.

7. Between March 4, 2000, and July 31, 2002, Respondent performed acts of deviate sexual intercourse with C.M., a minor who was under the age of 17.

8. Between June 15, 2004, and June 15, 2005, Respondent performed acts of deviate sexual intercourse with J.B., a minor who was under the age of 17.

9. Between October 13, 2006, and April 27, 2007, Respondent performed acts of deviate sexual intercourse with C.W., a minor who was under the age of 17.

10. Respondent engaged in the conduct stated in paragraphs 4-9, above, in the County of St. Louis in the State of Missouri.

11. On June 13, 2007, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of the County of St. Louis, Missouri, filed a criminal complaint that charged Respondent with committing 18 offenses of statutory sodomy in the second degree, in violation of XXXVIII Missouri Revised Statutes, section 566.064, on the basis of Respondent's above-mentioned acts of deviate sexual intercourse with minors C.W. and J.B. The matter was docketed as State of Missouri v. Eric Tolen, No. 07 SL-CR 2791, in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri.

12. Between July 21 and August 1, 2007, Respondent attempted to prevent or dissuade C.W. from assisting in the prosecution of the complaint.

13. On July 2, 2008, in State v. Tolen, a grand jury returned a 38-count criminal indictment against Respondent. On September 16, 2008, the Prosecuting Attorney filed a 38-count amended information in lieu of indictment. A copy of the amended information in lieu of indictment is attached as Exhibit 1.

14. Counts 1 and 2 in State v. Tolen, as amended, each charged an offense of statutory sodomy in the first degree, based upon Respondent's above-mentioned acts of deviate sexual intercourse with B.S. when B.S. was under the age of 14, in violation of XXXVIII Missouri Revised Statutes, section 566.062.

15. Counts 3-36 in State v. Tolen, as amended, each charged an offense of statutory sodomy in the second degree, on the basis of Respondent's above-mentioned acts of deviate sexual intercourse with B.S. when B.S. was 14 or older, but under 17, and with M.M., C.M., J.B. and C.W. when each was under 17 years of age.

16. Count 38 in State v. Tolen, as amended, charged the felony offense of victim tampering, in violation of XXXVIII Missouri Revised Statutes, section 575.270. Count 38 stated that Respondent, "acting with others, purposely attempted to prevent or dissuade C.W., a victim of the crime of statutory sodomy in the second degree, that was charged as a felony on or about June 13, 2007, from assisting in the prosecution of a complaint."

17. On September 19, 2008, a jury convicted Respondent of the offenses set forth in counts 1-36 and 38, described in paragraphs 13-16, above. (The jury acquitted Respondent of count 37, which charged attempted statutory sodomy with another minor.)

18. On November 7, 2008, Respondent was sentenced to consecutive terms of imprisonment amounting to 65 years in prison. He also was sentenced to pay a fine of $5,000.00. A copy of the judgment and sentence is attached as Exhibit 2.

19. By reason of the conduct set forth above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. committing criminal acts that reflect adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and

  3. conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 770.

WHEREFORE, the Administrator requests that this matter be assigned to a panel of the Hearing Board, that a hearing be held, that the panel make findings of fact, conclusions of fact and law, and a recommendation of such discipline as is warranted.

Gary S. Rapaport
Counsel for the Administrator
Illinois Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission
One North Old Capitol Plaza, Suite 333
Springfield, Illinois 62701
Telephone: (217) 522-6838
Respectfully submitted,

Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Illinois Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:   Gary S. Rapaport