Myrtle Beach lawyer Jacob Leon Parrott was recently disbarred by the South Carolina Supreme Court after multiple suspensions for sex-related offenses — including voyeurism and masturbating in public.
The state Supreme Court is responsible for disciplining lawyers and judges who commit ethical misconduct.
According to Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson, it is pretty rare for something like this to happen, but these cases are easy to prosecute.
“These cases are not necessarily hard to prosecute,” Richardson said. “They are generally witness driven. If you have got a good witness or witnesses, it is fairly simple. The question regarding how often lawyers get caught: it is very rare for something like this. I’ve seen it a couple of times.”
Richardson said he had a case a few years ago where a public defender had a case sent to the attorney generals office.
“The defendant won at trial; however, the disciplinary counsel still suspended his license,” he said.
Parrott was licensed to practice law in South Carolina on November 15, 1984. In 1997, the state Supreme Court imposed a four-month suspension on Parrott after he “pled guilty to simple assault and battery for pulling down a woman’s bathing suit while she was sunbathing at the beach in 1994."
He was suspended again in 2017 for nine months after he was arrested for voyeurism for using a cell phone to take photos up a woman’s skirt in a local grocery store and failed to notify the Office of Disciplinary Counsel of his arrest within the required 15-day period.
Parrott later pled guilty to a charge of Assault and Battery third degree and was ordered to pay a fine of $776.
The third strike came on June 5, 2018, when he was arrested and charged with indecent exposure, after he was observed from a police report, “Masturbating in public near a beach access. The man, identified as Parrott, ran from the area and onto the beach. Police were able to catch him and arrest him.”
Parrott self-reported the violation to the ODC on June 19, 2019, within the 15-day period. He later was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, suspended to 12 months probation and $168.75 in fines.
Solicitor Richardson said “in instances like that, the South Carolina Ethics Commission of the South Carolina Bar may suspend his license. They could wait to see the outcome of the case or they could act on the allegation.”
The court said that Parrott “admits his conduct violated rule from the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct where it states, 'committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on a lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.'”
The state Supreme Court stated in its conclusion that ”we find respondent’s misconduct warrants disbarment. Accordingly, we accept the agree and disbar respondent from the practice of law in this state, retroactive to June 5, 2018."
Parrott was also licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia on Nov. 15, 2012. In 2018, he was suspended by the Virginia State Disciplinary Board for his offenses in South Carolina.
An attempt to contact Parrott's lawyer was not successful.
A search with the Virginia State Bar showed that he is currently an “associate in good standing.”