Criminal Justice

Lawyer is accused of trading sex for legal work; scales of justice tattoo helped corroborate claim

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A San Antonio lawyer has been charged with compelling prostitution for allegedly pressuring three clients to have sex with him in exchange for legal work.

The lawyer, 46-year-old Mark Benavides, was arrested on Tuesday, report and KSAT. Benavides was accused of taping several of the sexual encounters and of having sex on some occasions with alleged victims at the Bexar County Courthouse.

One alleged victim said Benavides had a tattoo on his back of the scales of justice, an allegation corroborated by two witnesses—a prostitute and a person who taped sexual encounters, according to the arrest warrant affidavit (PDF).

An accusation against Benavides surfaced in October when a woman seeking to overturn her guilty plea testified that Benavides had represented her and had sex with her in a jury room. At the time, Benavides told KSAT that the woman was “making up a bunch of lies about me.”

Benavides is running for a judgeship as a Democrat. He was freed on $15,000 bond.

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