There’s a history of lawyers pulling down their pants to make a point. Some of you may recall former Covington & Burling partner David Remes, who dropped trou in Yemen a few years back. Remes, who was representing several detainees at Guantanamo Bay, explained that he stripped down to emphasize the humiliation inflicted upon detainees by inappropriate body searches.
Now another attorney is claiming that he exposed himself for educational reasons. Ohio lawyer Thomas Walkley, 52, was charged with exposing himself to two troubled teens on Friday. (They were troubled before they saw Walkley’s junk.)
Walkley, who founded and runs a coffeeshop for at-risk youth, claims that pants-dropping is part of his “mentorship” program. We wonder if they’ll try this in Oregon.
Unlike Remes, Walkley didn’t keep his underwear on. He removed his pants and his boxer shorts, letting it all hang out before two teenage boys….
It’s a rather strange story. From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Norton resident Xavier Sworniowski said he and a friend met with Walkley around 2 p.m. Friday at Cafe 41:11 to see whether they could perform some court-ordered community service there. Sworniowski, a UA student, said they were looking for a place to work in the community as part of a diversion program after their underage drinking arrest in Brimfield Township on Halloween.
Walkley is founder of the cafe at 4111 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road, and others in Medina and Dalton. He owns the Cleveland-Massillon Road property, and his law office is in a portion of the building. The cafe bills itself as a Christian outreach center for at-risk teens.
A Christian outreach center? Well, Walkley apparently believes in turning the other cheek.
Sworniowski said Monday that Walkley took the pair upstairs to an office to chat. The conversation was very disjointed, Sworniowski said, as Walkley talked about his own troubled childhood….
At one point, Sworniowski said, Walkley asked the two whether they thought he could make them think differently.”We said, ‘What are you talking about?’ ” Sworniowski said. ”He stood up and pulled his pants down.”
Sworniowski said this made them ”freak” out and leave the cafe.
Walkley did get the boys to “think differently” — about working at Cafe 41:11.
One can imagine this next scene as part of an over-the-top comedy starring Michael Cera and Jonah Hill:
Police say Walkley caught up to the men in the parking lot.
”He tried to apologize,” Sworniowski said. ”We said no, we don’t accept your apology.”
Police say Walkley remained by the men’s car while they called 911.
The 9-1-1 call is bizarre. You can check out a partial transcript and a recording over at NewsNet5.com. This is the best part, after one of the youths who made the emergency call handed over his cellphone over to Walkley:
Dispatcher: Well, yeah, but I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on.
Walkley: Oh, there’s nothing going on. They just came over for community service. I was explaining to them what the program is, and so forth.
Dispatcher: So, nobody pulled their pants down?
Walkley: I didn’t say that. These guys are over the age of 18 and they were being… we have something going on with our… part of our program and if you want to send one of the officers over, we can talk to him about what that is.
David Remes was able to explain his pants-dropping much more articulately.
In an interview with the Beacon Journal, Walkley admitted removing his pants and underwear in front of the teens, but denied that he did anything wrong:
“There is more to the story that I would like to tell, but I’m not able to,” Walkley said. “I’ve been advised [by an attorney] not to.”
He said his motivation was educational — not sexual.
“There are two sides to the story,” Walkley said. “I would ask that no one rush to judgment before hearing the other side.”
Walkley described his role at Cafe 41:11 as that of a father figure and mentor. He said he has used exposure in mentoring sessions in the past.
“Radical times call for radical measures,” Walkley said. “We’re not afraid to do what it takes.”
Indeed. Maybe Walkley can raise funds for his cafe by performing for Cadwalader summer associates.
On the bright side, at least Walkley didn’t try to spank the two young men — as former judge Herman Thomas was accused of doing to prisoners. (Judge Thomas got off — i.e., was acquitted — in the end.)
If any of our Ohio readers would like to come forward and shed some light on Thomas Walkley, please feel free to email us (subject line: “Thomas Walkley”). We are sincerely curious about what the heck is going on here. Thanks.
911 call: Norton attorney pulls down pants, exposes self to two men [NewsNet5.com via ABA Journal]
Attorney in Norton is accused of indecency (with 911 call) [Akron Beacon Journal via ABA Journal]