An ad hoc judge dissolved a protective order Monday that a former female client of Baton Rouge lawyer Joel Porter obtained against him more than a month ago accusing him of harassing and stalking her following an alleged sexual relationship.
Retired East Baton Rouge Parish Family Court Judge Luke Lavergne issued the ruling, which Porter praised as justice and vindication, while attorneys for Ashley Smith pledged to refile a petition for a protective order against Porter.
Baton Rouge City Court Judge Yvette Alexander issued the protective order April 7.
Lavergne, filling in Monday for Alexander, concluded Smith did not meet the requirements necessary under the statute she used to seek the protective order. Lavergne said she was neither a spouse nor a dating partner of Porter.
“It’s not over. We plan on refiling a petition,” said Michael Laborde, one of Smith’s attorneys, outside City Court. “This guy is harassing her and she’s scared.”
Porter, who said he was “arrested for nothing” April 16 for allegedly violating the protective order, called Smith’s original petition meritless.
“I think justice was finally served in this matter,” Porter said after the hearing, adding he has endured humiliation and scorn for more than a month.
“I forgive her because I believe she was used,” he said. “She’s a pawn in a bigger game.”
Porter once again pointed at Baton Rouge police Detective John Dauthier, who is investigating the unsolved 1985 stabbing death of Porter’s wife. Porter contends Dauthier is trying to frame him for the slaying.
Porter’s attorneys claim Dauthier took an active role in the investigation and interrogation of witnesses in the Smith matter, and even transported her to and from City Court last month for a hearing in the case.
“I’m no longer going to respond to Mr. Porter,” Dauthier said late Monday afternoon when contacted by phone.
Porter, 56, 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.
Porter has maintained he was at work when his wife was killed.
“That’s the truth,” he said.
Porter also said he was at home in bed on Nov. 16 when Smith claims he was stalking her.
“This never happened,” he said.
Porter’s attorneys had subpoenaed Dauthier to take his deposition in the case involving Smith, but Lavergne’s ruling means the deposition will not take place — at least for the time being.
Donna Grodner, one of Porter’s attorneys, argued to Lavergne during Monday’s hearing that the protective order should be dissolved based on the lack of evidence presented by Smith.
“There’s no reason why my client should have a (protective order) hanging over his head,” she argued.
Smith, 25, has said previously that she and Porter had a sexual relationship while he represented her. She said she ended contact with him once her case ran its course, but Porter started harassing and stalking her in November.