In a salacious case, picked up by most of the media this week, including The New York Daily News and The Columbus Dispatch, attorney Javier H. Armengau is fighting to stay out of jail. If he loses, his stay behind bars is likely to be long.
Up until recently, Armengau, 52, practiced law in Columbus, Ohio. As a defendant instead of an advocate, he now personally faces accusations from five women going back to 1998.
The Dispatch reports that a woman testifying on Monday was the third to come forward in the case, now wrapping up the first week of trial. The plaintiff says she was forced to watch Armengau masturbate in front of her during a time he was representing her son.
The incident was repeated up to ten times, according to the accuser. In addition to this public indecency, other serious charges leveled by the five women include rape, kidnapping and gross sexual imposition. The Dispatch further reports that each of the plaintiffs accusing Armengau of sexual misconduct or criminality was associated in some way with his legal practice.
Further details in the case purportedly outline a judge’s demand for sex from the woman in return for a lighter sentence for her son. After she refused, Armengau is accused of raping her. There is no judge being charged in this case, just a man that Armengau allegedly told his accuser was Judge Richard A. Frye.
In cross-examination by Armengau’s defense attorneys, the woman was barraged with questions about her apparent inability to even identify the judge accurately outside the courtroom.
Judge Frye has made no comment to the press because he has been subpoenaed to testify. No date has been set. According to the woman, the rape took place in Armengau’s conference room after her son was sentenced.
However, the police report made a year earlier shows she stated the encounter occurred before her son’s sentencing. Armengau’s attorneys focused on these disparities and others found in police reports, and they are attributing motives of greed, money, jealousy and other vices to all five women.
The trial will continue into next week at least.
Image credit: New York Daily News