Public defender charged with sex offenses involving inmates

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An Indianapolis attorney and ex-judge working as a Shelby County public defender has been charged with three counts of sexual misconduct and one count of official misconduct after he was accused of inappropriately touching inmates at the Shelbyville jail. Authorities said one instance was recorded on video.

Shelby County sheriff’s officers arrested Clark Rehme, 43, at the jail Monday. Two unidentified female inmates had complained to guards about Rehme’s conduct during his visits in the past month. One said when she met with him in a jail interview room, Rehme allegedly demanded she perform oral sex.

The women consented to allow jail staff to record and monitor Rehme’s visits Monday. In a visit with one of his clients, “Rehme discussed the bond hearing real quick, then the discussion turns to sex,” according to the probable cause affidavit. “Rehme tells Inmate #2 to go ahead and pull her shirt up. She asks if she should, and Rehme says go for it.”

Rehme subsequently exposed himself and asked for oral sex, according to the affidavit. He then inappropriately touched the inmate, at which point deputies entered the room and arrested him.

The three sexual misconduct charges against Rehme are Level 5 offenses; the official misconduct count is a Level 6 offense.

According to the charging information, the inmate who previously performed oral sex had turned over to jail guards a sample of bodily fluid the guards sent to the Indiana State Police lab for DNA analysis.

Rehme allegedly talked about sex with both inmates on prior visits, the affidavit said. One of the inmates said he “described himself as craving sex much in the same way she craved drugs.”

The affidavit also claims, “Both inmate #1 and inmate #2 advised that Rehme told them that he could lose his license for what he is doing.”
Rehme, a former Lawrence Township Small Claims Court judge, contracted as a public defender in Shelby County. In January, he joined the Indianapolis firm Mark K. Sullivan and Associates P.C. The firm did not respond to inquiries Tuesday about Rehme’s employment status.

Rehme was admitted to practice in 2005 and has no prior disciplinary history, according to the Indiana Roll of Attorneys.

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