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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Disbarred judge may have been practicing law
He went to prison for having sex with a 14 year old.
By COLLEEN JENKINS, Times Staff Writer
Published October 11, 2007
TAMPA - Louis Tidwell, a former workers compensation judge, lost his law license after getting sentenced to prison in 1991 for having sex with a 14-year-old girl and smoking crack cocaine.
But police believe he's been practicing law anyway.
Tidwell, 69, is due in court this morning on an outstanding warrant issued Monday, court records show.
His attorney, Ron Cacciatore, said Tidwell is accused of violating his probation by falsely representing himself as a lawyer.
He wouldn't go into further detail until after today's hearing. Cacciatore will ask Circuit Judge Gregory Holder to set bail in the event Tidwell is ordered back to jail, court records show.
No formal charges have been filed. The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office would not comment on the case Wednesday.
Reached at his Tampa home, Tidwell referred questions to his attorney.
His 20-year career as a judge came crashing down in 1989 when he admitted to trading drugs for sex with a 14-year-old girl. His attorney at the time blamed an addiction to crack, which Tidwell gave the girl in exchange for sexual favors for nearly three years in the late 1980s.
The girl also watched him have sex with other women. Tidwell taped the encounters.
He pleaded no contest to 17 counts of performing a lewd and lascivious act on a child, four counts of performing lewd acts in the presence of a child and one count of delivery of cocaine. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison and 45 years of probation.
Later reduced to eight years, he got out after four. His probation doesn't end until 2039.
State corporation records show that Tidwell has owned a Tampa business, Tidwell & Associates, since 1995. At the time, he said he had set up a paralegal business.
Whether he has found himself in hot water through that business was unclear Wednesday.