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Crime & Courts

Attorney accused of prostitution drops lawsuit over nude photos

SYCAMORE – The 28-year-old former DeKalb County attorney who admitted to prostitution dropped her lawsuit alleging former State's Attorney Clay Campbell and her former defense attorney showed other attorneys nude photographs of her.

On Tuesday, an attorney for Reema "Nicki" Bajaj agreed to drop the lawsuit without the possibility of refiling it. The lawsuit had named defense attorney Timothy W. Johnson, Campbell and an unidentified assistant state's attorney, who only was identified in court records as a white man.

Bajaj, who now works as an office manager, decided to drop the lawsuit to avoid bringing up unhappy memories, said Bajaj's attorney, Amanda T. Adams.

"Ms. Bajaj is moving on with her life," said Adams. "She is in a new profession."

In the lawsuit, Bajaj claimed Johnson showed other attorneys nude photographs of her that he received through the police investigation into allegations that two men paid her for sex or to perform sex acts from 2005 through January 2011. Bajaj hired Johnson on May 11, 2011, and about three weeks later, Johnson showed other local attorneys the nude photographs in the lawyers' lounge at the courthouse in Sycamore, the lawsuit alleged.

The lawsuit also claimed that Campbell distributed copies of the nude photographs outside a courtroom about June 1, 2011.

But William Hotopp, an attorney for Johnson and Campbell, said the two never had copies of the photographs. Instead, Bajaj hired a different defense attorney on June 6, 2011, and that defense attorney received copies of the photographs from the prosecutor on June 15, 2011, Hotopp said.

Moreover, any emotional distress or financial impact Bajaj experienced was caused by her creating an online profile for prostitution and being charged with a crime, Hotopp said. Hotopp said he plans to ask a judge to order Bajaj and Adams to cover Johnson's and Campbell's attorney fees for allegedly filing a frivolous lawsuit.

But Adams said neither she nor Bajaj knew whether the people who told them Johnson and Campbell had shared the photographs were correct.

"Whether those people were telling the truth or not would have been a matter to decide at trial," Adams said.

The lawsuit isn't the last issue Bajaj has to resolve regarding the prostitution allegations. She pleaded guilty to misdemeanor prostitution in June 2012 and is serving two years of court supervision, which mean a conviction won't go on her record if she successfully finishes the term.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission brought ethics charges against her for allegedly using an alias when she engaged in prostitution and lying to investigators and commission officials about it, records show.

Bajaj has agreed to have her law license suspended for three years, a deal a hearing board accepted Dec. 12, said James Grogan, a spokesman for the disciplinary commission. Illinois Supreme Court justices are expected to consider the deal in January; it won't be official until a majority of the justices approve it.

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