If You Like Pina Coladas and Walks in a Prison Yard: Lawyer’s Case Goes to Jury for Bilking Thousands from Former Lovers

The bizarre case of Texas Lawyer Mary Roberts has captivated the bar and, with her testimony, did not disappoint those following the sordid details of the efforts by Roberts and her husband Ted Roberts.  It is now before the jury and Mary Roberts may soon join her husband, Ted, in jail. Ted was previously convicted and given five years for his role in extracting tens of thousands of dollars from Mary’s four lovers. For members of the bar, these two could not be put away too soon.

Remarkably, Mary Roberts still believes that it was perfectly legal to hold up her lovers under threat of public disclosure of their affairs.  However, until she cited Rupert Holmes’ “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” in her testimony, I was not sure of the depth of her depravity.  

As discussed in earlier entries, the Roberts are accused of a bizarre variation of pay-to-play scheme with her lovers being help up for thousands of dollars after being confronted by Ted Roberts.  Remarkably, Mary Roberts insisted that it was legal to send “202 letter,” as she called them, to four former lovers — demanding donations to “charity.”  Witnesses previously testified that Ted called his “favorite charity — me.” Mary Roberts admitted that they use much of the money to support the law firm which was under financial distress.    Mary Roberts insisted that she put an ad on an adult website only after finding evidence of her own husband possible affairs.  She insisted that she wanted to catch him. 

It read in part: “Professional woman who is full of desire, but not having her needs met — I am extremely discreet and require the same. I am also very receptive to the right man for an erotic and intellectual relationship.”

Of course, she ultimately slept with four men and admitted  to having an affair with Geoffrey Ferguson during her first marriage and then while married to Ted Roberts in 2001.  When pressed on the obvious disconnect in her account and why she would do such a thing, Mary Roberts cited Rupert Holmes’ “Escape (The Pina Colada Song).” — to explain what prompted her to place an ad on an adult Web site.  ”It’s like, what’s that song? ‘If you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain. Like that.”  Until that moment, I was agnostic about Mary Roberts going to jail, but anyone who not only listens to Holmes’ song but cites it in a court of law is a danger to society.

In all, Mary and Ted Roberts were able to squeeze the four lovers (none of whom were told of the others) for  $155,000.  Mary delivered at least one of the letters and Ted used letters to threaten and mock the men.  

Notably, Mary stated that her husband had  ”a bit of Napoleon complex” and blamed him for virtually everything.  She did the sleeping but he did the scheming under her account.”I did not want Ted to pursue the 202 petitions or pursue anything,” she said. “The problem was in the marriage. … I asked him to chill out, if you will. He was unwilling to do that.”

While tearful on the stand, it is hard to imagine a jury buying this type of testimony.  Unfortunately, the two Roberts have fulfilled every stereotype of lawyers for some in the public.  The fact is that these are two truly obnoxious — if not toxic — individuals who deserve lengthly punishment — and long walks in the rain in the prison yard — to consider their choices as both lawyers and human beings. 

Now it is before the jury, click here

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