Legal Ethics

Judge Sanctions Lawyer and Plaintiff for Sex Claim Lawsuit Against Boxing Champ

A New York judge has tossed a false imprisonment lawsuit filed against boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya and sanctioned both the plaintiff and her lawyer.

The plaintiff, Angelica Cecora, had claimed she and her roommate had sex with De La Hoya while at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, but she rejected four other propositions for sex, the New York Law Journal reports. She said she was afraid to leave the hotel room, and as a result, she missed a dentist appointment the next day.

Judge Paul Wooten of Manhattan found that the circumstances don’t amount to assault and battery, false imprisonment, or intentional infliction of emotional distress, and the two latter claims were frivolous, the New York Law Journal says. Not only were the allegations without merit, the judge said, they were “undertaken primarily to harass or maliciously injure” the boxer. He sanctioned Cecora and lawyer Robert Anthony Evans Jr. $500 each and ordered Cecora to pay legal fees.

Wooten’s opinion (PDF) was particularly critical of the duo’s attempts to embarrass De La Hoya, saying they made an “intentional appeal to the media” with a press conference on the courthouse steps. He also criticized the lawyer for making an issue of De La Hoya’s absence on the date of oral argument, “knowing that it is common practice in civil cases for only attorneys to appear.”

The New York Daily News noted the ruling. “It’s Oscar De La Hoya in a knockout over the blond bombshell who claims the kinky boxer sexually assaulted her,” the story says.

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