Attorney Mark Keaton, a nightmare human being, was disbarred from practicing law in Indiana last week because he systematically harassed, threatened, stalked, and distributed naked pictures of his ex-girlfriend over the course of six long years.
Keaton’s disbarment papers tell a very grim story that serve as a good reminder: ladies, get a restraining order the moment you start to feel threatened!
In 2005, Keaton, then married and 41, started an affair with his teenage daughter’s 19-year old roommate, “JD.” When they broke up in 2008, Keaton started calling JD obsessively and leaving voicemails, which sounded like this:
Call me the fuck back! I don’t know who the fuck you think you are. But I’ll tell you what, you better fucking call me fucking back now! You fuck with me one more time and this time you’ll really fucking pay for it! And you need to think about it! Now you fucking quit fucking with me! I fucking deal with your fucking illness so fucking long, don’t fuck with me another fucking day! Not another fucking day! You return my call right now!
You make the decision to ignore me for the next hour, and I will make a decision that allows me to express my fury...Call me! . . . This is the last opportunity you have to avoid a catastrophe.
JD presented the court with 90 other similar voicemails left by Keaton. During the couple’s relationship, Keaton borrowed $8,000 from JD, then a teenaged law student. When JD asked for the money back to cover her college expenses, Keaton said he we would only pay her back if she continued to communicate with and meet him. After Keaton paid JD what he owed her, he threatened to kill himself if she did not see him again. When JD did not respond, he sent her several emails threatening to kill himself, such as this one:
I will kill myself tonight if I get one more instance of cruelty or indifference from you. I will do it. I have had enough. This is sick. So, I am asking you to drop the cruelty and indifference and engage in a rational caring exchange with me. Are you going to or not?
I will kill myself if I do not hear from you by 6:30.
In 2009, Keaton began posting intimate pictures JD had sent him during their relationship on porn sites. “Just so you know, [the pictures] have been up on one site since March 1, when you started this shit,” Keaton wrote to JD. “151 pictures to date 209,748 hits!” Keaton also kept a blog for several years where he ranted about JD, published graphic pictures of her, and identified her by name.
When JD filed for a restraining order in 2013, Keaton sent this missive, stalkersplaining that she’s never actually been harassed by him and that it was kosher for Keaton to post naked pictures of JD because she sent them to him:
All the IU cop said was that if you got a protective order and if I violated it, it would be a problem. But you do not have one and you cannot get one. And you cannot get one because you have never been threatened or harassed. And you have made no attempt because you know that all evidence would be relevant. If you mentioned that the gravamen of emails was the pictures . . You’d have to tell the judge, and you would get a ruling that they are in the public domain because they are public and you dessimated [sic] them. And your mental health records would be at issue, which the cop now knows. . . . And there is nothing improper about emails to other people. . . . You would lose a motion for protective order. You would damage your reputation and perhaps your career. . . . But as a lawyer, I encourage you to try. I tell you it will be too late. Tonight will be too late. I want to die if there are people in the world like you. Do you understand that you love me? Apologize and fix this, or win in the way that you do not want to win. I’m tired of a world in which such disordered personality can attempt to destroy a man so good and moral and kind and loving.
JD was granted a restraining order which eventually led Keaton’s arrest for violating it, triggering, thankfully, this disbarment by the Indiana Supreme Court. Their reasoning is also a pretty great read:
We have long emphasized that a license to practice law is a privilege, and that privilege is conditioned upon the faithful performance of the responsibilities imposed upon the attorney by the society that grants the privilege...First and foremost among these responsibilities is that an attorney be of good moral character and fitness, including the attorney’s conformity to the standards imposed by the law,the oath of attorneys, and our professional conduct rules. Respondent’s outrageous behavior falls woefully short of these standards and reflects a fundamental betrayal of the trust that has been placed in him.
And the kicker:
Most disturbingly, despite the entreaties of JD and several others, Respondent simply has refused to take “no” for an answer.
Sounds like disbarred attorney Mark Keaton will be hearing “no” even more often from now on.
Image via screengrab/Imagine Entertainment.