In The News
By Dana Kennedy
Orange County Register News Article
Jim Mendenhall/The Register
Attorney Paul Wallin: “I am the most active father as far as my kids go in every aspect.”
The Walls of Tustin attorney Paul Wallin’s office are conspicuously lined with picture after picture of his two young sons.
At least a dozen photographs of the children dominate the desk of the Premier defender of people accused of child molestation. A large framed plaque reading “I Love Dad” is featured prominently on the wall.
This homage to his children is augmented by Wallin’s frequent declarations of devoted fatherhood.
“I am the most active father as far as my kids go in every aspect,” said Wallin, a fast talking 33-year-old. “I’m the coach of my sons T-ball team. I love kids. Just go ask any of my neighbors. It’s like they can’t believe I do this for a living.”
But because of his practice Wallin’s office includes more than pictures of happy children.
Behind one couch are two large posters that resemble television storyboards. Handwritten by Wallin’s investigators, they list in gruesome inconsistencies in the recent testimony of a seven-year-old girl who accused her father of molesting her.
Charges of oral sex and sodomy cloaked in a childish vernacular provide a stark contrast to the pictures of Wallin’s happy and healthy-looking sons.
For the past five years, Wallin has specialized in the defense of fathers, stepfathers, and teachers accused of molestation.
Wallin said it has become somewhat of a growth industry. In the past three years, the number of his clients have quintupled.
Last week, a mistrial was declared in the case —–, 36, the Wallin client accused of molesting his 7-year-old daughter. The jury deadlocked 7-5 for acquittal on two counts of oral copulation and three counts of lewd conduct. The jury split 6-6 on two counts of sodomy.
Wallin is often successful in getting charges dismissed against his clients or winning acquittals.
In two highly publicized cases of child-molesting charges were dismissed against a Fullerton elementary school principal, —–, last year and a Garden Grove high school math teacher, —–, was acquitted in March.
Wallin also has gained reduced sentences for his clients, as with —–, an Irvine daycare operator accused of molesting his 12-year-old stepdaughter for four years with her mother’s approval.
Prosecutors said —– rigged an elaborate light system in his home to summon the girl for sex. He was sentenced to eight years in state prison in a plea bargain after originally facing up to 80 years.
But Wallin has a ready response to those skeptical of how a doting father can defend a man accused of molesting a child.
“I’m a father of two cute boys and there’s no doubt that it (child molestation) occurs,” he said. “However, because of all the attention it’s bringing, it’s become the latest weapon in divorce wars.
“In the old days, when parents wanted to get custody, all they had to do was show that one was shacking up (with somebody).
“Same with kids in school. It used to be they’d just go home and say the teacher hit me. But now they know how it destroys a teacher’s life. There’s no doubt that some kids are vindictive that they could bring these charges falsely.”
Occasionally pounding a fist on the desk in his fervor, Wallin said “teachers and fathers put their entire lives in my hands. What if your husband or your brother accused of child molestation and you knew he’d never been convicted of it or was capable of it?”