BR lawyer takes issue with detective, former client, judge

Joel Porter Show caption
Joel Porter

Lawyer blames others in harassment case

A day after he was arrested but absolved of violating a protective order filed by a former female client, embattled Baton Rouge lawyer Joel Porter labeled the woman “emotionally disturbed” Thursday and lashed out at a police detective who he claims orchestrated his arrest.

Porter, 56, also took issue with the longtime state judge who signed the arrest warrant.

Porter’s accuser, Ashley Smith, denied outside Baton Rouge City Court that she is emotionally unstable and repeated her claim that she and Porter had a sexual relationship while he represented her.

Smith said she ended contact with him once her case ran its course, but Porter started harassing and stalking her in November.

“I ran from him in November. I’m not running from him anymore,” the 25-year-old woman stressed.

Ashly Earl, one of Porter’s attorneys, predicted Porter will be vindicated.

“That will also be proven to be false,” Earl said of Smith’s sexual allegations.

Smith, Porter and his attorneys appeared Thursday in City Court for a hearing on the temporary restraining order that City Court Judge Yvette Alexander granted April 7, but the hearing was pushed back to May 5 because Smith requested time to hire an attorney.

Alexander extended the restraining order until the next hearing

Porter’s attorneys advised him not to speak with reporters after Thursday’s hearing.

Porter, who previously ran for City Court judge, instead handed reporters a statement on their way into the courthouse.

In it, he called Baton Rouge police Detective John Dauthier “a dirty and corrupt cop” who is trying to “frame me” and asked for the Justice Department to look into the matter.

It’s unclear whether he’s alleging Dauthier is framing him in Smith’s case, a homicide case or both.

Dauthier is investigating the unsolved 1985 stabbing death of Porter’s wife.

Porter sued Dauthier in federal court in January, claiming the cold case detective defamed him and used too much force when serving a search warrant on him in March 2013 to collect a DNA sample.

“At the end of the day Dauthier will fail!!!” Porter’s statement said.

Dauthier, who was in Alexander’s courtroom Thursday because Porter’s attorneys subpoenaed him to be there, said afterward the allegations Porter made against him in his statement are “patently false.”

“My only involvement or concern with Mr. Porter is I am investigating the brutal stabbing death of his wife, Denise, in 1985,” Dauthier said.

Smith said Wednesday she filed a police report last year complaining about Porter, but he was never arrested.

Smith said she felt the investigating officer wasn’t taking her case seriously, so she attempted to report it to internal affairs and met Dauthier at the Police Department. She insisted Dauthier had no role in the protective order case.

Porter noted in his statement that veteran state District Judge Mike Erwin, who signed the warrant Wednesday for Porter’s arrest, also signed the search warrant that Dauthier used last year to collect Porter’s DNA.

Erwin said Thursday he signed the arrest warrant because an affidavit of probable cause alleged one of Porter’s attorneys, Donna Grodner, contacted Smith several times while the protective order was in effect.

Erwin said the order made it clear that Porter could not contact Smith personally or through a “third party.”

Grodner has said she was seeking information about Smith’s witnesses in preparation for Thursday’s hearing, and because Smith had no attorney, Grodner had no choice but to contact Smith to get the witness list.

Alexander agreed Wednesday and said Grodner had the right to obtain the witness list.