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Lawyer’s license tabled in sex coercion case

The Nevada Supreme Court temporarily suspended a Las Vegas attorney from practicing law after he pleaded guilty to one felony count of sexually motivated coercion.

Richard L. Crane, a member of the Willick Law Group, which focuses on family law, was sentenced in October to five years of probation by District Judge David Barker. As part of the conditions of probation, Crane must file as a sex offender and not live within 1,000 feet of a school, park or other structure designed primarily for use by children, according to court records.

Crane’s suspension was handed down by justices Michael Cherry, Mark Gibbons and Nancy Saitta.

Crane was arrested in August 2009 in a Henderson police sting that nabbed men seeking to meet underage boys and girls via Craigslist.com.

According to Crane’s arrest report, he believed he was speaking to a 15-year-old girl, and asked when she would turn 16. Crane asked questions about the girl’s sexual history and asked on several occasions to "hang out," the report stated.

Crane was actually communicating with a Henderson detective. After he was arrested at a meeting place, Crane denied any involvement in what police allege he did, the report stated.

The Willick Law Group’s website on Friday still listed Crane as a practicing attorney. The state’s high court temporarily suspended him from practicing law on Monday. Attempts to reach Crane through the office were unsuccessful.

According to Supreme Court Rules, temporary suspension of an attorney is mandatory when he or she has been convicted of a serious crime, including felonies. The matter was referred to the Southern Nevada Disciplinary Board for disciplinary proceedings. It was not immediately known when those proceedings would take place.

Crane, a graduate of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, was admitted to the Nevada bar in October 2005.

Before law school, Crane spent 30 years in the Navy and retired as a lieutenant commander, according to his biography on the Willick Law Group’s website.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@review journal.com or 702-380-1039.

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