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Lawsuit: Distribution of nude photos hurt Maple Park business

Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 5:34 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, May 20, 2013 11:20 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Rob Winner – rwinner@shawmedia.com)
In this Daily Chronicle file photo, former DeKalb County State's Attorney Clay Campbell speaks to members of the media outside the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore following the plea agreement of William Curl on Wednesday, April 3, 2013.
Caption
(Provided photo)
Reema Bajaj

SYCAMORE – A local attorney is suing former State's Attorney Clay Campbell and other local lawyers, claiming they circulated nude photos and unflattering news accounts about her, making it difficult for her to find new clients.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in DeKalb County court by Reema "Nicki" Bajaj, 27, alleges that Campbell and local lawyer Timothy W. Johnson, who was acting as her defense attorney, showed nude photographs of her to other lawyers at the DeKalb County Courthouse in June 2011. The complaint also identified an unnamed "John Doe" lawyer working for the state's attorney's office.

Bajaj is seeking more than $50,000 from Campbell, Johnson, and two other unnamed lawyers in the suit for emotional distress and economic damage. Her Maple Park-based legal practice, Bajaj Law Offices, LLC, was dissolved last week, according to the lawsuit.

Campbell and Johnson – now partners in a Sandwich-based law firm – could not be reached for comment Monday. Bajaj's lawyer in the case, Kevin McHugh, declined to comment.

Bajaj was charged with three counts of prostitution in May 2011, and hired Johnson to defend her in the case, according to the lawsuit. She pleaded guilty June 20, 2011 to a misdemeanor count of prostitution and was sentenced to court supervision, 50 hours of community service and $2,500 in fines and costs.

According to the lawsuit, in the course of his work as Bajaj's attorney, Johnson received a discovery file from the DeKalb County State's Attorney's office, which included nude photographs of Bajaj.

In June 2011, the lawsuit alleges Johnson showed the contents of the discovery file to another attorney in the lawyers' lounge at the DeKalb County Courthouse.

Bajaj also alleges that Campbell, who now works as an attorney for Campbell, Johnson and Hotopp, P.C., distributed copies of the photographs to people in a DeKalb County courtroom who were not connected to Bajaj's case.

The lawsuit accuses an unnamed assistant state's attorney identified as "John Doe" of distributing copies of newspaper articles about Bajaj's court case to prospective clients of Bajaj and members of the public.

A hearing date for the lawsuit is set for Aug. 19.

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