Magazine article Insight on the News

Many Nonpresidents Got Jail Time for Sex, Lies and Perjury on the Job

Magazine article Insight on the News

Many Nonpresidents Got Jail Time for Sex, Lies and Perjury on the Job

Article excerpt

How did Geraldo Rivera lose a pot of cash to attorney Victoria Toensing? The mustachioed interviewer and rabid apologist for President Clinton promised on CNBC that, "If anyone could find another instance of a federal perjury prosecution for a sex lie, especially one told in a dismissed civil case -- in other words, a case just like the prosecution of Bill Clinton -- we would pay $10,000."

Rivera suggested that only a supposedly sex-crazed prosecutor such as Kenneth Starr would recommend legal action against Clinton for his alleged dishonesty in the Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky scandals. But when Toensing told Rivera about Veterans Administration psychiatrist Barbara Battalino, Geraldo paid up.

In a case with eerie parallels to the Lewinsky scandal, Battalino was prosecuted for denying that she performed oral sex on Vietnam veteran Edward I. Arthur on June 27, 1991. He was a patient of Battalino's who later sued her for sexual, harassment and medical malpractice. Arthur happened to audiotape some 25 hours of phone conversations with Battalino, including one where she scolded him for discussing the time they played doctor before their medical relationship had ended. As Battalino said: "The thing was that we were supposed to not have had sex until after I can't believe you would divulge that."

Using these tapes, the Clinton Justice Department charged Battalino last April with endeavoring "to influence, obstruct and impede the due administration of justice in connection with a pending proceeding before a court of the United States" -- namely, the lawsuit in which Battalino falsely denied having sex with Arthur in her federal office.

Battalino pleaded guilty and was fined $3,500 and sentenced to a year's probation, including six months of house arrest.

Battalino is not alone. …

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