St. George Utah defense attorney Aric Cramer accused of having a sexual relationship with a client during a kidnapping and assault case.
And the Utah State Bar filed an ethics complaint against Aric Cramer.
Haylee Cheek’s story is one of the stories that was filmed for Lawless America…The Movie.
ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — The Utah State Bar has filed an ethics complaint against a St. George defense attorney accused of having a sexual relationship with a client during a kidnapping and assault case. [Here is the Ethics Complaint against Attorney Aric Cramer.]
Aric Cramer is accused of unprofessional conduct while representing Haylee Cheek in a case that resulted in her July 2010 conviction on various charges including aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault.
The Spectrum of St. George reports she is serving a sentence of seven years to life in the Utah State Prison.
The year after Cheek’s conviction, a judge heard a motion for a new trial in the case. Cramer at that time testified he did not engage in a sexual relationship with his client during a trip to Las Vegas or at other times.
ST. GEORGE – The Utah State Bar filed an ethics complaint in 5th District Court on Wednesday against a St. George defense attorney accused of having a sexual relationship with his Cedar City client during a notorious armed kidnapping and assault case.
Aric Cramer is accused of unprofessional conduct while representing Haylee Cheek in a case that ultimately resulted in Cheek’s July 2010 conviction on charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, sexual battery, theft of a vehicle or firearm, possession or use of methamphetamine and fraudulent use of a credit card.
Cheek is serving a sentence of 7 years to life in the Utah State Prison.
She has appealed her conviction, and requested early release from prison while the appeal is in process but the http://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/local/2014/03/04/cheek-denied-early-release/6050113/ early release request was denied last year.
The bar’s Office of Professional Conduct also filed a disciplinary complaint against http://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/local/2014/07/23/attorney-files-response-discipline-case/13081593/ defense attorney Bryan Adamson last year in connection to claims by Cheek that Adamson had improperly billed the Cheek family for a minimal role in her defense and then refused to refund the money.
Cramer and Adamson both deny the allegations against them.
No trial has yet been scheduled in Adamson’s case, but it is expected to be sometime after this summer.
The year after Cheek’s conviction, Judge G. Michael Westfall heard a motion for a new trial in the case, during which Cramer testified under oath that he did not engage in a sexual relationship with his client during a trip to Las Vegas or at other times.
The bar’s complaint formally accuses Cramer of falsely testifying to the court and to the bar that he did not have a sexual relationship with Cheek, and that his conduct was “prejudicial to the administration of justice” as well as a violation of the bar’s code of ethics by “exploiting” the attorney-client relationship for sexual gratification.
Haylee Cheek listens to Judge G. Michael Westfall during a hearing on her request to overturn her conviction and sentence on charges including aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated robbery and sexual battery on Nov. 23, 2010 in Cedar City. (Photo: The Spectrum & Daily News file photo)
Following arguments and the presentation of evidence about the allegations, the court could order a reprimand or disbarment if it finds Cramer guilty.
The OPC is also asking that Cramer be found liable for any court costs and other “relief” the court might find to be just.
Cheek and her parents have also been embroiled in other legal action involving Cramer and a variety of attorneys and law enforcement officials.
Prior to Cheek’s conviction, she and two co-defendants filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court against Iron County officials.
Last November the court dismissed the case against the individuals and their departments, but followed the decision with an order in December allowing them to continue pressing their case against Iron County as a defendant on allegations of illegal search.
No trial has yet been scheduled in the case.
Follow Kevin Jenkins, @SpectrumJenkins