Child Molestation Charges Against Attorney Are Dropped
Felony child molestation charges were abruptly dismissed Monday in the case of a Laguna Hills lawyer who was accused of using drugs to entice a 15-year-old boy to have sex with him.
Despite protests from the boy’s mother, Eric P. Lampel, 35, was allowed to plead no contest to a single misdemeanor charge of possession of drugs. He was ordered by Superior Court Judge Myron S. Brown to perform 20 weeks of community service and pay for psychological counseling for the boy and another young man involved in the case.
Lampel’s attorney, Paul S. Meyer of Costa Mesa, said his client’s agreement to pay for the counseling in no way constituted an admission of wrongdoing. Lampel has maintained that the molestation allegations are false.
“The restitution was simply part of the process of a negotiated plea,” Meyer said. “I think the prosecution recognized that the things Mr. Lampel was accused of just never could be substantiated.”
Meyer said he showed prosecutors an investigative report that said Lampel was not even in the county when some of the incidents were alleged to have occurred. He also pointed to evidence, partly from a preliminary hearing, showing that both the accusing boy and his friend had been heavily involved in drugs from an early age.
Meyer said that Lampel, who specializes in personal injury, real estate and business law, has suffered greatly in his career since the 13 felony charges were brought through a grand jury indictment more than a year ago.
“The mother (of the accuser) is extremely angry at what happened in court,” Meyer said. “But this is really a sad case of parents not knowing the truth.”