A Laguna Hills-based criminal defense attorney Wednesday was convicted of touching a client’s thigh in his office, but was acquitted of a more serious sex assault.
Adam Rudnick Stull, 56, of Ladera Ranch, was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of touching an intimate part of another person, but acquitted of one allegation that he touched a women’s vaginal area. The incident was Nov. 7.
The victim was in her late 20s, and the attorney massaged her rear end both over and under her clothing, said Deputy District Attorney Michael Carroll.
“He told her to lay down and she did, and he began massaging her body without her consent and put his hands up and down her back, touching her butt under her shirt,” Carroll said.
The prosecutor argued that he also “grazed” the area of her vaginal area, but the jury acquitted Stull of that.
Jurors began deliberating late Tuesday afternoon, and reached a verdict in about two hours, Carroll said.
The State Bar of California Wednesday listed Stull as an active attorney in the state.
Stull’s attorney, Dana Cole, noted that his client was originally charged with a felony count of sexual battery by restraint, but it was tossed out by a judge before trial.
“Today, the jury found Mr. Stull not guilty of the most serious charge involving vaginal touching,” Cole said. “Ultimately, he was convicted of misdemeanor touching of his client’s butt.”
Cole argued there were “many appellate issues in this case, including the judge’s decision to allow witnesses from 28 years ago to testify about a case in which he was found not guilty. To me, that tremendously affected the jury and hopefully will be reversed on appeal.”
Stull’s request to be co-counsel on the case was also denied, his attorney said. So he was not allowed to question witnesses in the case from nearly three decades ago, which “seems like a strong appellate issue,” Cole said.
Cole also said the victim in the case “was allowed to testify out of custody despite having a bench warrant in the system for her arrest. This too seems highly unfair.”
After she concluded her testimony she was arrested, Cole said.
“While we are disappointed with the conviction, we feel rather confident in our appellate issues,” Cole said. “Mr. Stull remains a terrific attorney who’s helped hundreds of clients over the years and is considered by the Orange County legal community to be a super, decent guy. I look forward to ultimately reversing this result.”
Stull is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 22, and faces up to a year in jail and an order to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, Carroll said.