ELYRIA — The defense attorney who accused a prosecutor of misconduct in the handling of a domestic violence case now is being accused of breaking the rules in the same case.
Assistant Lorain County Prosecutor Nick Hanek said in court documents filed Friday that he was improperly threatened by defense attorney Anthony Baker in the case of Ramone Christian, who is accused of beating his girlfriend in May.
Hanek wrote that Baker twice told him that if Christian wasn’t given a plea deal, he would file motions accusing Hanek of wrongdoing.
“He acknowledged that he would file motions and would allege misconduct on me personally only if I did not reduce the charges,” Hanek wrote in an affidavit.
Hanek wrote that if Baker had concerns about his conduct, the proper thing to do would have been to file a complaint against him.
Baker has said Hanek threatened Valerie Buska, the victim in the case, with criminal charges if she didn’t show up for the case or changed her story. He also has said Hanek warned Buska that she could wind up dead based on Christian’s violent past and told her that Christian had fathered a child with another woman.
In a letter sent to Hanek, Baker wrote that his actions could constitute violations of legal ethics and could possibly be considered a crime.
Hanek denied that he had threatened Buska with arrest.
“I told her that I was concerned for her safety and I explained that this defendant has a long history of convictions of violence and that he is dangerous to her. I went through each of the prior convictions and stated my concerns,” he wrote.
He also wrote that he “cared about her safety and gave her my phone number so that she could contact me if she needed any help. She provided me her address so that I could send her a subpoena for the trial.”
Baker has argued that Buska denies that Christian, who is serving five years in prison in an unrelated case, attacked her on May 24.
Although Elyria police had neighbors who reported they saw Christian strike Buska, she denies she was hit.
“Victim admitted to arguing and being very loud and falling to the ground because of the uneven pavement,” Baker has written. “She wrote that she told the police that she was OK and that there was no need to file charges; that she made the incident appear more serious than it actually was.”
On Friday, Baker denied that he threatened to accuse Hanek of wrongdoing if he didn’t get a plea deal for his client.
“I said, ‘Hey, let’s talk a plea bargain because the victim doesn’t want a trial,’” he said.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.