Atesa contracted Cedeño to be attorney for her in a divorce court proceeding opposing Anthony at a period when Atesa was particularly vulnerable, both emotionally and in financial terms. She grappled with, inter alia, a pending divorce court proceeding, a possible loss of child custody, a criminal matter originating from a more recent detention for assault relating to the divorce court proceeding, as well as a then-ongoing ACS probe that threatened her relationship with her child.
Peter Cedeño, a trusted fiduciary with respect to many of these types of situations, emphasized his potential to get favorable outcomes for Atesa. Cedeño made use of specially sensitive private information and facts uncovered in the context of the attorney-client partnership, not to progress Atesa’s lawful pursuits but in an ultimately successful attempt to establish a intimate relationship with Atesa.
To further this aspiration Cedeño prolonged the procedures, lying to the court as well as to the parties while doing so. He utilized the impediments he wrongfully crafted to get closer personally to Atesa. And Cedeño’s efforts to further a erotic partnership with Atesa only increased after Cedeño learned that the Plaintiffs were attempting to reconcile.
But Cedeño by no means formed, and given his role and the inherent power imbalance in the relationship could never establish , a unanimous intimate relationship with Atesa. On the other hand Cedeño sexually abused Atesa.
The sexual aggression, the deliberate stalls which preceded it, and the purposeful interference with Anthony’s as well as Atesa’s initiatives to patch things up have caused the Plaintiffs to undergo tremendous psychological and financial damages. Cedeño’s ongoing flirtation with his client, and his quest to develop a sexual relationship with her, demonstrate that he placed his own personal interests ahead of those of his vulnerable client, a breach of his fiduciary obligations.
Consequently, Peter Cedeño as well as his law enterprise should be presumed responsible for sex-related assault/battery, infringement of fiduciary obligation, nonobservances of Judiciary Law 487, willful infliction of psychological torment, and loss of consortium, and be ordered to pay proportionate real and punitive damages.