David Cohn, Famous for Representing Alleged OC Molesters, Guilty of Altering Court Reports
David Robert Cohn has been at the defense table for many high profile molestation cases in Orange County courts. He helped win an acquittal for Christopher John Ontiveros, a former history teacher at the respected Oxford Academy in Cypress, who was accused of molesting a female student. A former San Clemente middle school teacher, Richard Rack, did plead guilty to four counts of sexual misconduct with female students, but Cohn helped him get four other charges dismissed. One of Cohn's most notorious clients was Kathia Maria Davis, a Laguna Niguel hockey mom who was convicted of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old friend of her son's but had two mistrials on charges involving a 13-year-old teammate before she finally pleaded guilty and was sentenced to time served. Cohn's success with such cases was promoted by the law firm Wallin & Klarich, which has offices in Tustin and throughout Southern California.
From a March 2013 press release:
Wallin & Klarich sex crimes attorney, David R. Cohn, recently helped his client, who was accused of inappropriately toughing his daughter's friend, to get all charges dismissed. The client was facing eight years in jail and the possibility of having to register as a sex offender if convicted.
The one client Cohn apparently could not help was himself. The 51-year-old Coto de Caza resident was sentenced this week to 90 days in jail for submitting altered psychological reports to the Orange County District Attorney's Office and Orange County Superior Court in a sexual assault case.
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In 2012, Cohn represented Carmelo Sanchez Flores, who was accused of sexually assaulting a victim under the age of 14. Cohn retained psychologist Dr. Veronica Thomas to prepare a psycho-sexual evaluation report of Flores, which Thomas wrote and dated Oct. 11, 2012. On Dec. 14 of that year, Cohn had a pre-trial meeting with the deputy district attorney assigned to the case and gave him an altered version of Dr. Thomas' report, which was dated Dec. 13, 2012, in an attempt to settle the case. But the case proceeded and was scheduled to begin in November 2013.
On Nov. 11, 2013, Cohn submitted another altered version of Dr. Thomas' report, dated Nov. 8, 2013, to the court in an email, and the following day it was filed with the court. It mattered not: Flores was ultimately convicted and sentenced to 36 years to life in state prison on Feb. 28, 2014.
But the OCDA went on to conduct an investigation that found Cohn had altered Dr. Thomas' report on two separate occasions, having "removed substantial and material items from the report that could be deemed as unfavorable to Flores and inserted items that would present Flores more favorably in the case." Prosecutors also concluded that Dr. Thomas did not endorse or even know about these changes.
Cohn pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of deceit or collusion by an attorney and was sentenced to three years of probation, required to pay $1,000 in fines and ordered to donate $10,000 to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund.
According to the OCDA, "Cohn must also abide by any punishment, rule or order issued by the California State Bar."
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