A Kauai attorney was convicted of harassment Thursday after being accused of licking his client’s ear at his office last year, according to the County of Kauai prosecuting attorney.
The 26-year-old victim said in court that she was in the Lihue office of attorney Lawrence McCreery on July 26, 2011 discussing her child custody case when the incident occurred.
She said McCreery, who was licensed to practice law in Hawaii in 1975, touched her arm and said, "You look so good," and, "Too bad you’re married."
The woman said McCreery made a "weird sound" and then hugged her tightly and licked the back of her right ear.
McCreery took the stand Thursday to deny the charges. He testified that the woman initiated the hug and he denied licking her ear.
McCreery’s defense attorney, Michael Soong, argued that it would be physically difficult for the incident to have occurred as reported by the witness.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lance Kobashigawa told the court that all elements of the harassment law were proved and that there was no mistake that what the woman felt on her ear that day was McCreery licking her.
Fifth Circuit District Court Judge Frank Rothschild said there was no evidence that the woman had any motive to make up the story or to lie.
The judge added that defense claims early in the trial that the defense would dispute the complaining witness's credibility never materialized.
"Quite frankly," said the judge, "these are the actions of a dirty old man."
McCreery’s attorney told the court that he would be appealing the decision.