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Las Vegas lawyer placed on probation for sex act with inmate

A Las Vegas attorney received five years’ probation Thursday for engaging in a sex act with a client who was jailed at the Clark County Detention Center.

Curtis Cannon, now 63, pleaded guilty in March to one count of voluntary sexual conduct with a prisoner for an encounter captured on a hidden video camera in August 2012.

“This is out of sorts for him,” his lawyer, Ben Nadig, said. “He was in a major depressed state while these things were going on.”

Cannon, who was 58 at the time of the incident, engaged in the sex act with his client Crystal Wallis, then 23.

District Judge Valerie Adair ordered Cannon to undergo impulse control and mental health evaluations. He must not have any contact with Wallis, and he is prohibited from having any contact visits at the jail.

Prosecutor Michelle Jobe had asked the judge to send Cannon to jail for 90 days, but the request was rejected.

“He should be held to a higher standard because he is an attorney,” Jobe said. “He is required to know the law.”

Las Vegas police investigators secretly videotaped a 26-minute meeting between Cannon and Wallis in a fourth-floor jailhouse visiting room. Audio was excluded to avoid listening to private attorney-client conversations.

The lawyer told detectives that he was on medication at the time and had not had sex with his wife for 14 years. Wallis, he said, wanted to marry him.

Cannon, whose status with the State Bar of Nevada is listed as “disability inactive,” which is similar to being suspended, also must disclose his conviction to potential employers in the legal arena, the judge said.

The defendant told the judge he takes antidepressants but is no longer seeing a psychiatrist.

In order to practice law again, Cannon must petition the disciplinary board with the State Bar and prove that he is healthy enough to work, Bar Counsel Stan Hunterton said.

If Cannon is honorably discharged from probation, he can withdraw his plea to the felony and plead guilty to conspiracy to commit the same act, a gross misdemeanor.

Wallis, who remains jailed on other charges, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy count in 2012, and is scheduled to be sentenced next week.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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