Sheffield lawyer jailed for teen sex attack could be disbarred

editorial image
Have your say

A Sheffield lawyer jailed for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl is facing the prospect of being stripped of his ability to work as a barrister.

Desmond Rosario was sent to prison for four years last Friday after being found guilty by a jury at Leicester Crown Court.

The Bar Standards Board, the regulatory body for barristers, has now confirmed Rosario is being investigated under its ‘usual enforcement processes’ following his conviction.

Rosario, who was called to the Bar in 1990, lived in Fulwood and had been a member of Sheffield’s now defunct Paradise Chambers

The Standards Board has the option of referring Rosario to a disciplinary tribunal but could also choose to give him a warning or a fine.

If the tribunal found the charges against Rosario proved, it would have the option to ‘disbar’ him - revoking his ability to practice as a barrister.

According to the rules of the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service, which would be in charge of such a hearing if it took place, when an assault conviction has resulted in a prison sentence, ‘the general starting point should be disbarment unless there are clear mitigating factors that indicate that such a sanction is not warranted’.

A spokesman for the Bar Standards Board, said: “While the BSB does not normally comment on individual cases, we were aware of the proceedings involving Mr Rosario – who, our records show, has not practised as a barrister since late 2013. Following his conviction, we can confirm that we are investigating him in accordance with our usual enforcement processes.”

Rosario went on the run across the world following the sexual assault he committed in October 2013. He carried out the attack while the child’s mother was asleep in the same room.

After a police interview under caution, Rosario failed to appear at a court date in Leicester in June 2014 and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

But he was only found after he was featured on BBC One show Crimewatch in December. He was arrested at Birmingham Airport shortly after the programme aired after having been hiding in Holland, Canada, Turkey and Cyprus.

In his defence, Rosario claimed the girl must have dreamt that he assaulted her.

Sentencing, Judge Simon Hammond said the attack was a ‘moment of madness’ that had ruined Rosario’s professional career.