A powerful Chicago attorney once told a woman she needed to “do a little extra” if she wanted to have custody of her children and then placed his hand under her dress, Cook County prosecutors said Monday.
That same 61-year-old lawyer is also accused of raping an associate and sexually abusing another female colleague.
David Pasulka, a prominent family law practitioner, is now facing criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual abuse charges stemming from those allegations that date back to 2012, prosecutors said.
The first incident allegedly occurred March 21, 2012, when Pasulka and a female associate at David P. Pasulka & Associates, P.C were driving to Springfield, where Pasulka was set to argue in front of the Illinois Supreme Court, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said. During the drive, Pasulka allegedly put his hand on the woman’s thigh and started to rub her legs.
The following month, Pasulka called that victim back to the office after he initially granted her half day off request, Murphy said. When she returned to the office, no other colleagues were there except Pasulka, who went on to push the woman onto his office couch where he sexually assaulted her, Murphy said.
Another woman alleged that Pasulka fondled and touched her without her consent during her time at his firm. Pasulka told this woman he was looking for a “team player” and that she could “always say no,” Murphy said. Once, when the woman told Pasulka to stop touching her, he allegedly responded by saying she was “always saying no” when she “should be saying yes.”
Pasulka is the former chair of the Cook County Circuit Court’s Child Representative Screening Committee, which vets and approves lawyers to serve as guardians ad litem or a domestic relations child representative, according to the circuit court’s website.
Pasulka’s two accusers who no longer work with him said he would always tell them how powerful he was and that if they were to report him, they would face negative consequences in their careers, Murphy said.
Pasulka also allegedly attacked another woman while he was the court appointed Guardian Ad Litem for her children. During a 2017 meeting, Pasulka told that woman she had to be a “good girl” and that she needed to “do a little extra” in order to get custody of the children, Murphy said. Pasulka then allegedly reached his hand under her bra and made skin-to-skin contact with the woman, who had to stand up to make him stop.
Pasulka told the woman she could return later that evening to uphold her end of the deal, Murphy said. That victim never went back to his office, told her attorney what had transpired and filed a police report. But Pasulka had her sign a general release that prevented her from suing him for any “inappropriate activity,” Murphy said.
Pasulka’s attorney, Laura Morask, said her client “vehemently disagree[d]” with almost all the allegations and argued “there’s an agenda” behind the charges.
The “self-made man,” is an admitted alcoholic and has been undergoing treatment, Morask said in court Monday. If Pasulka is able to post bond, he would be staying in a sober living community, where he will continue to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and meet with a therapist, Morask added.
Pasulka was ordered held on $100,000 bail. He’s expected back in court Sept. 18.