A New Orleans lawyer who was caught inside a married couple’s Uptown home in October 2013 while they were on a trip, prompting a criminal complaint and revelations of a tryst between the two women, pleaded guilty Friday to misdemeanor counts of stalking and violating a protective order.
Trisha Ward, 37, received a six-month suspended sentence and two years of probation. She was ordered to undergo counseling and steer far clear of the couple, ending a two-year legal saga.
Because of her conviction, Ward also could face state sanctions against her law license.
Ward, who was admitted to the bar in 2008, picked up another charge last month when she was accused of making three purchases through Amazon.com using the female victim’s credit cards more than a year after her arrest. It was allegedly part of a pattern of misbehavior by Ward against the victim, a local university professor, after the initial charges were filed along with a stayaway order.
Ward had once been close to the couple, even baby-sitting for them, and she had a key to the couple’s home.
The New Orleans Advocate is not naming the victim.
She sat Friday in the courtroom with her husband as Ward sought to assure Criminal District Court Judge Tracey Flemings-Davillier she wouldn’t pester them. She told the judge she has left the city to avoid a chance run-in.
“I will stay as far away as possible,” Ward said.
As part of the deal, Ward will undergo a psychological evaluation and counseling.
In a legal filing last year, Ward claimed she entered the couple’s home clandestinely so she could repay the professor without the husband learning about their fling.
“It was during her effort to return the money that Ward encountered another housekeeper,” Ward’s attorney wrote, claiming the professor chose to press charges rather than admit the tryst to her husband.
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office agreed to reduce the illegal entry charge, a felony, to stalking, a misdemeanor, while dropping a count related to the online purchases.
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