“I Love To Dominate”: Sexual Harassment Lawyer Cleared Of All Charges In Rough Sex Case

gavel2Attorney Robert Michael Hoffman is a free man. Hoffman has been at the center of a bizarre case where multiple women accused him of sexual assaulting them. The complication in the case was that the women had answered his Craigslist invitation for rough sex. He insisted it was merely rougher than they anticipated while they said it was forced sex. The case began to unravel in September 2011 when six of nine counts were tossed by Judge Bruce Chan after a secret tape contradicted the testimony of two of the women. Now the remainder have been dismissed against the San Francisco attorney. Hoffman specializes in sexual harassment cases.

Hoffman placed ads in the “Men Seeking Women” for dominant-submissive sex that looked for submissive women who were willing to be controlled, hit, and treated roughly. Hoffman stated in the ad “I would love to dominate and humiliate and degrade you, privately of course.” He was later accused of sexually assaulting a 36-year-old East Bay woman, a 19-year-old San Francisco woman and a 25-year-old East Bay woman. The case raised difficult question of drawing the line between consensual rough sex and assault.

In the earlier hearing, one woman was shown a tape that contradicted parts of her testimony. A second woman was confronted with text messages where she refers to the encounter as consensual and has consented to rough sex on two prior occasions. Statements given to the police were found to be untrue.

Judge Bruce Chan had dismissed six out of nine counts in September 2011 after Hoffman’s lawyer introduced a secret sex tape and text messages at a preliminary hearing that contradicted allegations by two of the women. The tape showed one of the women having consensual sex with Hoffman, and the texts contradicted a second accuser’s claim that she had never sent Hoffman sexually explicit messages, according to prior news coverage.

The prosecutors has acknowledged that “New video evidence came to light at the preliminary hearing. The video evidence did not corroborate the allegations made by the victims in this case. Based on the totality of the evidence, our office re-evaluated the case after the preliminary hearing. Our burden is to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt. Based on the totality of the evidence, we were unable to sustain our burden and dismissed the case.”

I am a bit curious why it took so long to dismiss the cases with the existence of such tapes and evidence. However, this prosecution has taken years and appeared to be collapsing from the start. What is missing is an account of why this evidence did not prompt this action earlier.

The case is chilling in another respect. Once an individual consents to rough sex, it will be difficult without a third witness to state beyond a reasonable doubt when the roughness became nonconsensual. The normal signs of assault like bruising are part of this particular fetish – making this a particularly challenging case for prosecution.

Source: ABA Journal

28 thoughts on ““I Love To Dominate”: Sexual Harassment Lawyer Cleared Of All Charges In Rough Sex Case”

  1. Sex – which for the purposes of the thread includes fantasies – is an area where the law should be very careful about treading.

    There are extreme cases involving sex that are a slam-dunk for a statute. Away from those, there are activities where the blunt instrument of a statute can rise to being an offence in itself. This can be taken to its full potential for insanity when lawyers in an adversarial system get to work.

    Something Woosty wrote triggered a thought. Yes, Woosty. Really. Peace! 😉

    In addition, a woman (or a man) can absolutely withdraw consent at any time (including during the act)

    Like guy just climaxed. Sperm is well on its way. No stopping. She suddenly says “Stop”.
    Alternatively, she’s in control and he says “Stop”
    Technically, that’s rape – and maybe complicated by a pregnancy/infection.
    .

    I have no knowledge of the people involved in this case.

    I have an instinct.

    It’s about fantasies. They are so potent.
    Someone answers an ad. It offers something like a fantasy they have.
    Why not try it out in reality?
    Danger Will Robinson! – but…. answer the ad.

    If the fantasy turns out not to be as was fantasized about, who is to blame for that?

    There is a thing in some/many people. It’s always sombody else’s fault.
    Lawyers make fortunes out of this.
    .

    What I want to point to next is on topic because of the particular sub-part of a little blog of mine that I want to point to.
    I know it risks a diversion in the direction of Assange / Manning / Snowdon and a range of other people who have incurred the displeasure of the Administration.
    Please confine your attention to the section that directly addresses the topic of Sex and Lawyers.

    The blog is at http://sexwithlawyers.blogspot.com/

    Ignore the first (last?) posting about Judge Lindskog.
    … but feel free to read it – but only after you have …
    1) Read the bit that I am pointing you at. (I’m watching you. OK?)
    2) Read the post that encompasses the bit that I am pointing you at.

    Scroll down maybe 2/3rds of the page (It’s long. Sorry -maybe)

    The sub-heading is
    “Before I go near what happens with Marianne Ny taking up the inquiries
    – a bit about lawyers and sex.”

    Where that gets really relevant to ‘Sex and Lawyers’ per se is the bit about Louise Mensch and her “Sexual consent is not football; you can’t buy a season ticket” comment.
    That’s where I really get into the law and sex 🙂
    ….. in the section “What happens if there really isn’t a season ticket?”

  2. gary t, what kind of douchebag defends secretly videotaping someone having sex without their consent?

    1. Probably the same kind of douchebag that would defend a woman who cries rape, when the sex was consensual, and see an innocent man go to prison for 20 years if he didn’t have that videotape.

  3. nick, I’m pretty sure extra-marital sex is not against the penile code in Texas. 🙂

  4. Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape. ~ http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/sexassault.htm

    Definition of EXPLICIT

    1
    a : fully revealed or expressed without vagueness, implication, or ambiguity : leaving no question as to meaning or intent
    b : open in the depiction of nudity or sexuality
    2
    : fully developed or formulated
    3
    : unambiguous in expression
    ———————-

    In addition, a woman (or a man) can absolutely withdraw consent at any time (including during the act) and consent by deception (leaving out information for instance) is negation of consent. So I absolutely DO CARE that horrid abusive trolls not be cut loose if they are assaulting women and then claiming consent….that’s just creepy.

    1. Human law needs to scrap the meaning that presently exists for sodomites. The gays do not want worse for whoever. It should not take that many brain cells to figure out who does. People over think things. Don’t believe that there is a final judgment now suffer latter more than you know just before painful lights out or drowning yourself instead of burning. Had people know this It would behoove people to be like Jesus is. It is up to each individual to be like Jesus is. Don’t do that become a judge. Do that don’t be a keeper of the law.

  5. “If this is what two people want to do in the privacy of their own home, why should the State intervene? ”
    ———————
    well, it was 2 strangers and 1 of them at least disagreed with your premiss of consent…

    It i better to play with safe people than to take chances on ‘safe words’….especially if those words belong to a lawyer…..dontcha know…. 😉

  6. AllysaJ @ 9:21: “I don’t know about California, that’s a felony in Texas.”

    EVERYTHING is a felony in Texas.

    JT: “I am a bit curious why it took so long to dismiss the cases with the existence of such tapes and evidence.”

    Don’t you know that the Judge and the lawyers, and the clerks, and the paralegals, and the maintenance people, and the security people all had to have a look at the evidence? Several times so that they were sure of what they were seeing.

    In passing, though, who cares anyway? If this is what two people want to do in the privacy of their own home, why should the State intervene? Sling is absolutely correct. There is always a ‘safe word’ or action. If the women didn’t tell the man what the ‘safe word’ is, it’s not his fault. If they found the sex to be a little rougher than they expected, well that’s what the safe word is for. We need to get over worrying about what other people are doing in their own bedroom. Sure the women filed a suit which should not have even been accepted. At least the judge got it right in the end.

    1. Who cares anyway?

      If it didn’t involve the govt, then I agree with you.
      But this man had to face criminal charges, involving a huge expense, risk of liberty and imposition on his life.
      And the accusers get no penalty from the govt.

      I care. I care because it is a travesty of justice with no pushback, and it can happen to any guy.

  7. What place is it for anyone to judge the fetishes of consenting adults?
    To each their own. Maybe people think YOU are a mentally sick pervert

  8. It is good that all charges were cleared. God that is at this time not seen will judge. Choosing to not condemn will save their soul. That will be Jesus in the person not having a condemning spirit. A humble spirit will not condemn.

  9. Idiotic, presumptuous replies here so far.

    One presumes there IS going to be a safe word. Maybe there wasn’t, that is up to them, apparently they didn’t have one, so no foul there.

    Another here simply ad hominems the actors in this story, branding them mentally sick, simply because they don’t live up to HIS standard of what sex is supposed to be about.

    Another smugly states that the victim in this case, should still be charged and punished for illegal videotaping of his activities, even though that was the only dispositive proof he did not rape anyone. I guess she would rather see him go to jail whether he is guilty of rape or not.

    And there is a another here who wears her morals on her sleeve, concluding that all here got their just desserts, even though they all agreed to the rough sex, and it was only post hoc regret that these women accused him of rape.
    Do the women get to get charged with false accusations? Or do all women get a pass on false accusations that can ruin a man’s life?

    Jeesh. This is a simple case. They all agreed to rough sex. The women later felt humiliated, even though that is what they signed up for, and made false allegations of rape.
    The guy should go free, and the women should be charged with filing a false criminal report.

  10. I must be gettin old. You can solicit sex online, but not on the streets? What’s the difference, one is free and the other is….I don’t know what to call the online solicitation….why would anyone answer his request? He wasn’t even paying them? Does anyone believe that STDs still exist?

    I would’ve enjoyed being the judge in this case (sarcasm?).

    I can hear a judge: ‘can you rewind that last episode when she told him to stop….’

  11. This whole case seems like a warning for all involved. At a minimum, these women got a lot more than they bargained for in the way of rough sex and physical and mental abuse, so much so that they went to the police and alleged rape. The lawyer got charged with rape, had his reputation ruined, and had the cost and mental anguish of going through criminal charges. No winners here.

  12. If I read the story correctly, this guy secretly videotaped himself having sex with at least one of these women. I don’t know about California, that’s a felony in Texas. Sounds like he basically admitted it too in open court, so it would be a slam dunk case to prove.

  13. Consenting to abuse requires a seriously sick mental process. Committing abuse is the product of criminally absorbed, disgusting minds. No wonder the Judge is beyond confused*!*

  14. As I understand the activity, the parties agree on a “safe word” in advance. This is either an actual word or an action if words might not be possible.

    The safe word is the line between consent and assault.

    The problem might lie in proving that the safe word was used.

    There’s gotta be an app!!
    SIRI / Glass ! – I’m saying the safe word!
    That’s going to be erotic – or not.
    .

    Why did this particular case hang on for so long? Maybe someone wanted it to hang over him?

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