The state Supreme Court has reinstated a Montgomery County attorney who was suspended for six months after being convicted of charges related to covertly filming up the skirts of two females—one of whom was a minor—in a public place.
Clayton W. Boulware was reinstated by an April 24 order from the high court. In September, Boulware was suspended for six months with a three-year probationary period to follow the suspension. A September Disciplinary Board report listed Boulware as general counsel to Resources for Human Development Inc.
Boulware’s attorney, John Armstrong, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. A call to Resources for Human Development’s legal department was not immediately returned.
On Sept. 4, 2013, the Supreme Court adopted the report and recommendation of the Disciplinary Board in ordering that Boulware be suspended. The court said in its order that Boulware’s suspension and probation were contingent on his continued mental health treatment.
According to the board’s report, Boulware blamed his criminal conduct, in part, on the fact of his “open relationship” with a younger woman, which involved a “swinging lifestyle” and filming themselves having sex. The relationship, according to the opinion, was ending.
The board noted in its report that it would take a more lenient approach to reprimanding Boulware because of the mitigating circumstances of his case.
“We are mindful of the bedrock principle that the purpose of the disciplinary system is not to punish but rather to protect the public and uphold the integrity of the profession,” the board said in its report. “The evidence of record supports the conclusion that [Boulware] does not have a sexual disorder and is not at risk for repeating the behavior which led to his arrest and conviction. Further, according to his employer … [Boulware] is a productive employee who never engaged in inappropriate conduct with his female co-workers.”
According to the report, on Sept. 9, 2008, Boulware, in a Springfield Township, Montgomery County, Acme Market, followed a 16-year-old girl and her mother throughout the store, filming the girl with a video camera attached to his shoe as she bent over to pick up store items.
Earlier that same day, Boulware followed an adult woman into the same market and similarly videotaped her up her skirt by standing close to her, the board noted in its report. Both incidents occurred without the knowledge and consent of the victims.
In both situations, the report said, Boulware was noticed by the victims, who reported the incident to the Springfield Township police. According to the report, Boulware attempted to flee the store, was blocked by the girl’s mother, pushed the mother, but was then detained by store personnel until the police arrived.
On the same day, Boulware was charged with stalking, corruption of minors, invasion of privacy, open lewdness and disorderly conduct, according to the report.
Police subsequently filed a search warrant and found a memory card in Boulware’s camera containing video clips of “upskirt”—as Boulware described them—shots of additional women taken at other shopping venues, the report said.
In May 2011, Boulware pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas to three years’ total probation and a $300 fine, according to the report.
Boulware reported his conviction to the secretary of the Disciplinary Board, and on April 4, 2012, Boulware’s disciplinary hearing was held. Before his conviction, Boulware had never been subject to any disciplinary matters, according to the report.
Boulware’s “criminal conviction and as well as his frank admissions of wrongdoing at his disciplinary hearing, conclusively establish the violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct with which he was charged,” the report said.
The report mentioned that while Boulware admitted that his invasions of privacy were sexually motivated, his treating psychiatrist, Dr. Gail Kase, said that Boulware did not have a sexual disorder and that his conduct was anomalous, “a symptom of intense anxiety along with insufficient coping mechanisms,” caused by a series of stressful life events including the loss of a job he had held for 20 years, the abandonment of his house after a mortgage dispute, and the ending of a relationship with his girlfriend.
According to the report, Boulware said he filmed the women for “‘sexual arousal,’ or ‘sexual gratification’ at a time when he was seeking to end his relationship with the woman, rendering her and her willingness to engage in his preferred sexual activity inaccessible to him.”
Boulware said he engaged in the criminal conduct as a way to “‘somehow stay connected,’” with the type of relationship he’d been in before, the board’s report said.
The board said the case was one of first impression.
“We could not find a case with facts identical to those presented here,” the board said in its report. “Cases involving convictions for sexual misconduct that resulted in the most severe impositions of discipline did not seem to be apposite to the unique facts and circumstances of this case.”
The board acknowledged that Boulware had accepted responsibility for his conduct by pleading guilty in his criminal case and by promptly notifying the secretary of the Disciplinary Board of his conviction, as well as extending his full cooperation to the disciplinary system by admitting to his violations and the statements made to the petition of discipline, additionally issuing a sincere apology for his actions.
“Notwithstanding [Boulware's] pristine disciplinary record, sincere efforts at rehabilitation, honest admissions of wrongdoing and acceptance of responsibility therefor, as well as the unlikelihood of recidivism, we believe that some measure of public discipline is required in order to fulfill our responsibility to uphold the integrity to the profession and to protect the public,” the board said.
The board recommended that Boulware be suspended for six months, followed by three years’ probation, contingent upon his continued treatment with Kase; cooperation with mental health providers; the taking of prescribed medication; and submission of quarterly reports to the secretary of the Disciplinary Board, verifying that he is not a threat to repeat his criminal behavior.