Criminal Justice

Suspended lawyer faces criminal charges, is accused of setting girlfriend on fire

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A Minnesota lawyer has been criminally charged for allegedly setting his girlfriend on fire as she slept on the couch at his Twin Cities condominium.

David J. Gherity, 60, faces assault charges in Dakota County District Court and is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail, reports the Star-Tribune.

His unidentified girlfriend suffered burns on multiple parts of her body and lost an ear in the Feb. 9 blaze. She told authorities she was awakened by the fire after drinking and taking medication and falling asleep.

Gherity is accused in a criminal complaint of putting alcohol, lotion “and possibly hair spray and fingernail polish remover” on his longtime girlfriend prior to the fire.

The complaint says he smelled of smoke when he arrived at the hospital where she was being treated, but told medical personnel he arrived at the condo after the fire. Gherity also suggested to the woman’s sister that the hair spray, nail polish and remover she uses might have caught fire. However, the woman told police she doesn’t use hair spray, nail polish or remover.

Gherity’s license was suspended because he failed to pay bar fees, according to a Minnesota Judicial Branch attorney directory.

The newspaper article doesn’t include any comment from him or his legal counsel.

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