Disgraced divorce lawyer Dominic Barbara was arrested today and charged with harassment, stalking and trying to extort $200,000 from his ex wife – with alleged dirty pictures, prosecutors said.
The 67-year-old Barbara — busted for attempted fourth degree grand larceny, second degree aggravated harassment, and fourth degree stalking — pleaded not guilty at Nassau County First District Court in Hempstead.
Barbara — wearing a dark suit, no tie, and handcuffs in front — appeared tired and disheveled.
“Your honor, I’m a diabetic and I lost 144 pounds. The diabetes went away but I didn’t eat today,” he explained.
Judge Valerie Alexander granted his request for five minutes to sit down.Prosecutor Theresa Tebbett then asked that bail be at $20,000, arguing that Barbara no longer has ties to the community and lives in a hotel.
Barbara, acting as his own attorney, said he’s been crashing with friends in tony Old Brookville. Alexander sided with the defendant and allowed to him walk with no bail.
“I’ve been lawyer for 43 years. I was suspended because I was a Vicodin addict. I will appear [at all court dates],” Barbara said.
During the brief hearing, Barbara launched all kinds of accusations against his ex-wife Leslie Barbara.
Judge Alexander admonished Barbara from attempting to try the case today.
From March to September of this year, Barbara, who is suspended from the practice of law, texted and called his former wife Leslie Barbara demanding $10,000, according to Nassau DA Kathleen Rice.
“This was a cold-hearted campaign of harassment and threats, designed to put money in the defendant’s pockets and he didn’t care how many lives he destroyed along the way,” said Rice.
“Mr. Barbara’s conduct indicates a complete lack of respect for the people he maligned, the rule of law and common decency,’’ Rice said.
When she refused, he is charged with beginning a campaign of threats that he would destroy her reputation and career by exposing details of his wife’s alleged sexual relationships, Rice said.
The infamous media hound threatened to hold a press conference and release compromising photos and claims of her alleged sex life, authorities said.
Barbara also warned he would file false court papers on the alleged sex hijinx – and upped his demand to $200,000, according to prosecutors.
Tebbett said Barbara engaged in “a pattern of behavior designed to harass … all in an effort to extort money from her.”
He claimed he had photographic proof that Leslie Barbara was having an intimate relationship with her boss at her law firm and threatened to send those alleged pictures to the man’s wife.
During his extortion campaign, Barbara called and texted Leslie Barbara’s law partner, as well as her friends – and even clients – to try to force her to pay him off, Rice said.
Barbara at one point confronted his ex at a beauty salon and threatened her that “things are going to get a lot worse,” prosecutors said.
Barbara faces up to a year behind bars, if convicted.
Outside court today, Barbara said both he and his ex-wife have been arrested three separate times based on the other person’s complaints.
“I think we should be ashamed at ourselves that we’re still in the court system,” said Barbara, a self-proclaimed born-again Christian.
“ I happen to be with Christ. I’m a religious person. I forgive her. I pray for her recovery. I want this all to go away and be done.”
Leslie Barbara could not be immediately reached for comment today.
The once-respected legal eagle has suffered a string of personal and career setbacks in recent years.
A Nassau County judge in June ordered Barbara to pay $267,238.33 to New York Commercial Bank for a loan on which he allegedly defaulted.
Source: NY Post