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Charges Tossed Against Lawyer in Two of Three Alleged Craigslist Assaults

Posted Sep 6, 2011 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A San Francisco employment lawyer is expected to be released on bail after a judge tossed sexual assault charges against him in two of three alleged incidents.

Robert Hoffman, who also goes by the first name Michael, was initially charged with assaulting three women who came to his apartment after answering a Craigslist ad for rough sex. Judge Bruce Chan dismissed six out of nine charges on Friday after Hoffman’s lawyer introduced a secret sex tape and text messages that contradicted allegations by two of the women, report the San Francisco Chronicle and KTVU.com.

One woman admitted that the secret sex tape showed her having consensual sex with Hoffman on the third time she visited his apartment. She had testified on Wednesday that she had sex with Hoffman on two prior occasions, but the third time she did not want to have sex.

The text messages contradicted a second accuser’s claim that she had never sent Hoffman sexually explicit messages, the Chronicle says, and her claims about the number of prior sexual contacts, according to KTVU.com.

Chan lowered bail from $3 million to $450,000. Hoffman’s lawyer, Stuart Hanlon, told KTVU.com that he expected his client to be released on bail within the week.

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