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Criminal Justice

Grand jury probe finds paralegal’s death in lawyer’s bathtub was accidental

Posted Feb 14, 2014 7:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A grand jury investigation into the death of a paralegal found dead in a lawyer’s bathtub has concluded there was no evidence of criminality.

Julia Law, 26, was found dead last May in the Philadelphia condo of her lawyer-boss, A. Charles Peruto Jr., who had been dating the paralegal. The office of District Attorney Seth Williams released a one-sentence statement announcing the finding, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Magazine report.

Peruto has said all along that he was staying with friends in New Jersey, where he was overseeing construction of a new home there, on the night of Law’s death. In an interview with the Inquirer, he noted that the Medical Examiner’s office has concluded soon after the death that it was an accident caused by alcohol poisoning. Law had a blood-alcohol level of .40 percent.

Peruto told the Inquirer that the one-sentence statement leaves him under a “cloud” and the DA should release the full findings. He said he is considering an abuse-of-process suit against Williams.

Peruto had more choice words for Williams on Facebook, calling him a “power-tripping bum” and a “fat pr---,” according to a separate Philadelphia Magazine story.

“Release the complete report that we paid for, Mr. District Attorney,” Peruto wrote. “You spent our money on your witch hunt, and took eight months to do it, while my father was dying.”

Peruto’s father, criminal defense lawyer A. Charles Peruto Sr., died Dec. 17.

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