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Charges dropped against lawyer accused of assaulting women who answered ad for rough sex

Posted Jul 24, 2013 2:13 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Prosecutors have dropped all remaining charges against a San Francisco employment lawyer initially accused of sexually assaulting three women who answered his Craigslist ad for rough sex.

Prosecutors dropped remaining counts against Robert Michael Hoffman in March of this year, according to Alex Bastian, spokesman for the San Francisco District Attorney's office. Hoffman had maintained the sex was consensual.

Judge Bruce Chan had dismissed six out of nine counts in September 2011 after Hoffman’s lawyer introduced a secret sex tape and text messages at a preliminary hearing that contradicted allegations by two of the women. The tape showed one of the women having consensual sex with Hoffman, and the texts contradicted a second accuser’s claim that she had never sent Hoffman sexually explicit messages, according to prior news coverage.

Bastian issued this statement: "New video evidence came to light at the preliminary hearing. The video evidence did not corroborate the allegations made by the victims in this case. Based on the totality of the evidence, our office re-evaluated the case after the preliminary hearing. Our burden is to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt. Based on the totality of the evidence, we were unable to sustain our burden and dismissed the case."

Hoffman was represented by San Francisco lawyer Stuart Hanlon, who was on vacation and unavailable for immediate comment.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Sexual Harassment Lawyer Accused of Raping Women Who Answered His Ad for Rough Sex”

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer Accused of Raping Women Who Answered Rough Sex Ad Says Secret Tape Will Exonerate Him”

ABAJournal.com: “Charges Tossed Against Lawyer in Two of Three Alleged Craigslist Assaults”

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