Sex in jail cell costs lawyer


Thu, September 30, 2004

A FORMER Seattle public defender accused of having sex with a Canadian client in jail should be suspended from practising law for two years, a hearing examiner has recommended. In a ruling issued on Tuesday, David Thorner, of the Washington State Bar Association, found Theresa Olson, 45, brought harm to the legal profession as well as to her former client, Glen Sebastian Burns, 29, who later was convicted of aggravated murder.

In a meeting in the King County Jail on Aug. 10, 2002, Olson "knowingly and intentionally engaged in inappropriate, intimate physical contact, including sexual relations, with her client, Mr. Burns," Thorner wrote.

During a hearing, she denied having sex with Burns in a room where inmates meet with their lawyers. She admitted romantic feelings for Burns but said those feelings had been discussed and dismissed before he came up behind her and gave her a hug.

She said she now knows she should have resisted the hug and didn't realize he was partially undressed. "It was stupid and improper, and a horrible mistake," she said.

Four jail guards said they watched the pair having sex for several minutes.