Family lawyer charged with sexually assaulting more women

David Pasulka | CPD

Cook County judges entrusted attorney David Pasulka to represent children during contested divorce cases. Pasulka, prosecutors alleged again on Wednesday, used his position to threaten and sexually assault some of the children’s mothers.

It’s the second time the well-known family law attorney was in bond court to face similar charges since last summer.

In the latest hearing, prosecutors charged Pasulka with seven felony counts of criminal sexual assault by force, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and felony criminal sexual abuse. Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy suggested that there would be many more counts filed, but some of the alleged behavior took place outside the statute of limitations.

Murphy presented new allegations involving two women to Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz. One woman, whose children were being represented by Pasulka, was between 43- and 44-years-old at the time of the alleged assaults. The other woman worked as a paralegal in Pasulka’s office.

In 2016, Pasulka met with the first woman at his office and told her how powerful he was and boasted about having “great influence” over the county’s family court judges and her efforts to get custody of her children, Murphy said. Pasulka then allegedly slid his hand down the woman’s shirt.

She moved away, but he allegedly kissed her neck and shoulder and told her to “be smart” while repeating that he could help her get custody of her children if she had sex with him.

Murphy said Pasulka touched the woman sexually while repeatedly talking about the influence he has over the case during subsequent meetings, too.

According to Murphy, a May 2017 incident falls within the statute of limitations and is the basis for the state’s charges.

That’s when the woman met with Pasulka in a conference room to prepare for trial. He allegedly pulled up her dress, touched her private areas, and told her she’d lose custody of her children if she didn’t have sex with him, Murphy alleged.

The woman refused. She later lost custody of her children.

Murphy said the woman immediately told family members overseas about what happened. She also reported Pasulka’s behavior to her own attorney, state regulators, and Chicago police.

Pasulka’s former paralegal was 27- and 28-years-old when he sexually abused and sexually assaulted her at his office between 2016 and 2018, Murphy said.

During one incident, Pasulka sent the rest of the office staff home early and then sexually assaulted the woman on a couch, Murphy said. The woman told police that she was afraid to speak out because Pasulka threatened to destroy her professional reputation.

That changed after Pasulka asked her to monitor his emails while he was out of the office one time. In his email account, the paralegal came across allegations that another woman — a mother of kids that the court assigned Pasulka to represent — was making against him, Murphy said.

The paralegal realized she was not the only victim and decided to leave the firm, notify police, and report Pasulka to state regulators, according to Murphy.

Last summer, prosecutors charged Pasulka with sexually attacking another client and two other employees of his law firm. Judge John Lyke set bail at $100,000 at the time.

In one of the earlier cases, Pasulka allegedly told the mother of a child he represented that she needed to be a “good girl” and “do a little extra” if she wanted to win custody of her children, the Tribune reported.

Pasulka’s law license has been suspended pending the outcome of the criminal cases.

On Wednesday, Judge Susan Ortiz set bail in the new cases at an additional $100,000. Pasulka will need to post $10,000 to get out of jail again.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com