An attorney's rape trial is on hold for a day, but a new court filing offers a preview of his defense strategy.
Javier Armengau is accused of sexually assaulting five different women.
On Monday, a medical emergency involving the prosecution's final witness put the criminal proceedings on hold. But Armengau’s response to a Columbus Bar Association motion to suspend his license offers a preview of his defense in his criminal trial.
Last week, 10TV reported on the Columbus Bar Association's request that the Ohio Supreme Court issue an emergency suspension of Javier Armengau's law license, calling him an urgent threat to the legal profession and the community.
In a 48 page response, Armengau answers his accusers.
In a motion to the Ohio Supreme Court, the Columbus Bar Association accused him of everything from trading sex for legal services, to misuse of client money. Armengau's response to the Supreme Court says, "Given that he is currently in trial....he is constrained to disclose more details about his response to each accusation, except to say they are not true."
But his attorney goes on to speak to some of the charges, including misuse of client money, saying Armengau admits poor record-keeping and says, "While at times checks may have been, through oversight, deposited into the wrong account, (Armengau) does not believe that client funds were ever used prior to being earned."
He also attacks the claims and credibility of each of his five accusers in the rape case, pointing out that one accuser continued to retain his legal services for 8 years after she says he raped her.
Responding to another accuser's claim that Armengau and Judge Richard Frye tried "to coerce her into sexual activity" in Armengau's law office, Armengau says "Frye has never been to (his) office," and denies he or the judge attempted to have sex with her.
Of a third accuser, Armengau says, "At least three of (accuser's) friends will testify...that (accuser) admitted it was a set up and that nothing ever happened...and that her purpose was to get money."
The Bar Association alleged Armengau had a 12-year sexual relationship with a client starting when she was 17, and that he never charged her for his legal services. Armengau's motion questions the specifics of the woman's claim, but doesn't deny the sexual relationship.
Another client accused him of saying to her, "that he could rape me in the room and no one would believe me because my credibility was shot."
Armengau points out the woman never reported the comment until years later, when she saw his arrest on the news, but he doesn't deny making the comment.
The issue of Armengau's law license now lies with the Ohio Supreme Court. Staffers say it's not known when they might issue a decision.
As for the criminal trial, that is expected to resume Tuesday, with the prosecution's final witness.
Then the defense presents its case.
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