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Robinson bilked 'sex slave' out of $17,000, woman's lawyer says
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Kansas City Star) -- A lawyer in Tennessee has told authorities that John Edward Robinson Sr. took $17,000 from one of his clients, who says she was Robinson's sex slave until this spring.
The lawyer, Jes Beard, said he called the Lenexa-based task force that is investigating Robinson last week. An investigator already knew of Beard's client's connection to Robinson, Beard said, and recited facts from a file about the client's meetings with Robinson.
A task force investigator confirmed this week that a detective had talked to Beard but declined to describe the conversation.
Robinson was charged Tuesday in the murders of five women whose bodies were found in barrels in Linn County, Kan., and Cass County, Mo. He is also charged with two counts of aggravated sexual battery against women who allegedly traveled to Kansas City for sadomasochistic encounters with him.
Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison has said that there is a significant financial aspect to the murders he is charged with. He has declined to discuss the financial link further.
In Missouri, Robinson is charged with committing first-degree murder for "the purpose of receiving money or any other thing of monetary value from his victims."
Robinson's lawyer has denied the allegations against his client.
Beard, who practices in Chattanooga, Tenn., said his client was a mother who has known Robinson less than five years. He said she came to him because he previously represented people who practice sexual sadomasochism and bondage and discipline. He does not specialize in representing people with those interests, he said, but people have spread his name as a lawyer who won't judge them.
According to Beard, the woman told him she signed a "slave contract" with Robinson. She said he released her from the contract within the last two months because she was upset that he would not account for $17,000 she sent him as a check made out to his company, Specialty Publications.
Specialty Publications of America was incorporated in Missouri in April 1997, according to the secretary of state's office. The paperwork was handled by Ernest Van Hooser, a Kansas City lawyer who took care of some real estate and business matters for Robinson. The corporation still exists, although it has not filed an annual report that was due April 15.
Van Hooser could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
According to Beard, his client said Robinson offered her a job working with computers at the company and asked her to turn over her Individual Retirement Account so he could invest it. He never accounted for the money, Beard said, and now the Internal Revenue Service is taxing the woman for cashing out her IRA.
Beard said he would try to recover the woman's money but held little hope for success. He said his client was reluctant to sue Robinson because she did not want her name made public.
"Contracts" between sexual dominants and submissives take many forms, and it is not unusual for them to mention finances as well as personal behavior, Beard said. Clients who are involved in sadomasochism have told Beard that some sexual submissives also want someone to make important decisions in other areas of their lives, including finances, he said.
"In a dominant/submissive relationship, someone who is a con man has a very, very willing subject," Beard said.
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