An attorney who has joined the defense team of former Highland County Travel and Tourism Director Bob Lambert has been named one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the nation with 30 years of experience in both state and federal courts.
William M. Butler, Jr., of Louisville was added to Lambert’s defense team this week. Lambert’s jury trial date has been moved from March 13 to 9:30 a.m. on May 22 because “defendant needs additional time due to the highly technical nature of the case and because the attorney has recently been retained,” according to an order from federal judge Susan J. Dlott. A final pretrial conference is scheduled for May 11.
The motion filed by the defense requesting a delay in the trial until May states that the U.S. assistant attorney who is prosecuting the case, Christy Muncy, “has no objection to continuing the jury trial.”
Lambert was indicted in September by a federal grand jury on two counts of producing or attempting to produce child pornography, and one count each of possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.
Butler has been named one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the nation by the National Trial Lawyers Association. On his LinkedIn profile, Butler states, “My first jury trial took place in 1987 – an acquittal on a DUI case. Since that time, I have tried many cases in both State and Federal Courts ranging from murder and drug trafficking down to accusations of stealing a pack of gum from Kroger. Most cases settle without the need for a trial but I believe my clients receive more favorable offers of settlement because prosecutors know that if an offer is not fair, I will not hesitate to go to trial and that I have the skills and experience to obtain a favorable outcome.”
The indictments against Lambert allege that between June 1 and June 25, 2016, Lambert “did knowingly employ, use, persuade, induce, entice and coerce a minor… to engage in sexually explicit conduct… for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct… which visual depiction was produced using materials that had been mailed, shipped and transported in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce by any means, including by computer.”
A separate indictment alleges that Lambert possessed pornographic material involving a minor “who had not attained 12 years of age…”
Orders filed in the case have indicated that plea negotiations are in progress.
Lambert was arrested at his Hillsboro home on Aug. 9 of last year after the Hillsboro Police Department received information regarding “criminal activity involving sexual acts with minors at a residence in the 400 block of East Main Street,” according to a press release at the time from HPD. “During this investigation officers received information that led to a search warrant being served” at Lambert’s residence, police said.
Police took various electronic devices and other items after executing the search warrant and placing Lambert under arrest. Lambert was dismissed immediately from his job with the travel and tourism bureau.
Police had originally charged Lambert with second-degree felony illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material or performance, and fifth-degree felony pandering obscenity with a minor, according to court records. The local charges were dropped after Lambert was indicted by the federal grand jury.
After originally being held at the Highland County Justice Center on $50,000 bond, Lambert appeared for a detention hearing and arraignment in early October in Cincinnati, represented by attorney Adam Bleile of the Cincinnati firm Bleile and Associates. Bleile remains part of Lambert’s defense team.
Lambert was granted OR bond in October with the condition of 24-hour monitored home incarceration, according to court records. He entered pleas of not guilty to the four counts against him. He is believed to be staying at a residence in the Cincinnati area.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or by email at [email protected]