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Lakin faces federal drug, sex charges

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A former Metro East attorney pleaded not guilty on Monday to federal drug and sex charges. Tom Lakin was freed on bond but ordered to remain under electronic monitoring.

The indictment accuses Tom Lakin of supplying drugs to young women and transporting a boy across state lines for sexual purposes.

The government is also trying to seize Lakin's East Alton home, alleging it was used for cocaine dealing and consumption.

Lakin's attorney calls the charges no surprise, noting Lakin and he had been in talks with the government about the matter for about months.

Lakin, 66, is the namesake of one of the St. Louis area's most prominent personal injury law firms; the seven-count federal indictment was returned Friday and unsealed Monday.

Two drug counts allege that Lakin distributed cocaine to a woman 18 to 21 years old in May 2002, then again to another similarly aged woman in August 2005. The indictment identifies those woman only as "Jane Does."

According to the indictment, Lakin distributed cocaine in August 2005 to two other women, also identified only as "Jane Does."

The final count transporting a minor in interstate commerce with intent to engage in sexual activity illegal in California accuses Lakin of getting a boy to Malibu in May 2005 to have him engage in sex. The indictment identifies that child only as "John Doe" and, at the time, younger than 16.

The count involving illegal transportation of a minor carries a possible sentence of life in prison; the cocaine-distribution charges each are punishable by up to 40 years behind bars and $1 million in fines.

The indictment marks the latest legal trouble for Lakin, who already was being sued in St. Clair County on claims that he sexually abused two boys.

It was not immediately clear Monday if the children involved in the lawsuit were any of the unidentified subjects mentioned in the federal charges.

Lakin last year voluntarily put his law license on inactive status.

Last December, the Illinois Supreme Court's regulatory arm accused Lakin of sexually assaulting and exploiting teenagers, in some cases providing them and others with cocaine.

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission's three-count complaint alleged that Lakin had at least 10 sexual encounters over a six-month period in 2005 with a 15-year-old boy whose mother was the attorney's employee.

That year, according to the complaint, Lakin orchestrated group sexual encounters with the boy, a 17-year-old girl and two adult women and inappropriately touched the boy's older brother in the late 1990s.

Lakin also frequently provided teenagers and others with cocaine, "engaging in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute," the complaint read.

The status of that disciplinary case, which could including censure and disbarment of Lakin by the Illinois Supreme Court, was not immediately available Monday.

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