LIHU‘E — A Kaua‘i attorney was convicted of harassment Thursday after being accused of licking his client’s ear at his office last year.
The 26-year-old complaining witness said in court that she was in the Lihu‘e office of attorney Lawrence McCreery on July 26, 2011, discussing her child custody case when the incident occurred, according to a news release from the Kaua‘i Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.
She said McCreery touched her arm and said, “You look so good,” and, “Too bad you’re married.”
The witness 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 complaining witness 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 complaining witness felt on her ear that day was McCreery licking her.
Per Diem Fifth Circuit District Court Judge Frank Rothschild said there was no evidence that the complaining witness 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’ 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 appeal the decision.
According to McCreery’s website, he has been practicing law on Kaua‘i since 1978.