One attorney has been falsely accused of attempting to have a sexual relationship with one of his clients and since has been fighting to protect his reputation.
According to a Fox32 report, it gets messier…the client? An alleged Islamic terroist behind the 9/11 attacks.
Tim Jon Semmerling says that like many others, the 9/11 attacks changed his life forever.
“I wanted to be a part of making a difference,” Semmerling said.
When he decided to become a lawyer, Semmerling was already was an expert in Near Eastern languages and cultures. And while at DePaul, he focused on defending death penalty cases.
He soon began noticed for his expertise in Muslim cultures and worked in Guantanamo, helping to defend Walid bin ‘Attash, one of the alleged plotters of 9/11. He says now that the work manifested some shocking allegations which endangered his life, his family and his career.
“It’s horrific. It’s heinous. And it should not stand,” he said.
Due to Semmerling being gay and due to Muslim views regarding LGBT issues, he was warned by the CIA to never reveal his sexual orientation. Semmerling now claims that his fellow defense attorneys outed him to his client in a federal lawsuit, which got him fired – now leaving him as a potential target, especially so in the Middle East.
“They have hurt my career, these people, they have made sure I can never go back by outing me to Guantananamo Bay to work with any of the people down there,” Semmerling said.
Defense lawyers also told bin Attash and other defense lawyers that Semmerling was trying to have a homosexual relationship with the alleged Islamic terrorist, Semmerling claimed.
“How would that even be possible? If you meet with somebody down there, constantly around with cameras. I remember being in one, and the minute I took my shoe off, because my shoe was bothering him that day, and within a minute they had a guard in there telling me to put my shoes back on. So it couldn’t even possibly happen. So that’s what so absurd about it,” he said.
Raymond Wigell represents Semmerling.
“The concept of Doctor Semmerling hitting on one of his clients is so absurd to me it’s difficult to speak to,” Wigell said.
The defendants named by Semmerling include Cheryl Bormann, a Chicago defense attorney who has been noted in the past to wear a hijab at Guantanamo hearings out of respect for her client’s Muslim beliefs.
Bormann and her attorneys declined to comment on the lawsuit, but in court documents, they argue she is immune from liability as she was providing legal services to a client. Semmerling believes Walid bin Attash preferred his work to theirs, and they had a personal vendetta against him.
“So they looked for a scapegoat, They found a homosexual bogeyman to do it to. And that’s where we’re at,” Semmerling said.
“Quite frankly, this is about right and wrong,” Wigell said.
Semmerling’s lawsuit was sealed by a judge shortly after it was filed. We’ve learned much about his complaint from documents filed by defense attorneys, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office. They’ve also declined comment on the case.
Shortly after it was filed, Semmerling’s lawsuit was sealed by a judge.
Both sides agreed to have the judge seal Semmerling’s complaint, but Semmerling says he’d like it to be made public now.