Editor’s note: This story discusses alleged sexual violence. If you need assistance or resources, Utah’s 24-hour sexual violence crisis and information hotline is available at 1-888-421-1100.
A Salt Lake City immigration attorney is being sued by a former female friend, who says he sexually assaulted her and threatened to have his legal clients hurt her.
Aaron Tarin specializes in cases that involve immigration and criminal law at the West Valley City law firm Immigrant Defenders Law Group, which is also named in the lawsuit, filed Tuesday. Tarin is the registered agent for the law firm.
Greg Skordas, the attorney representing both Tarin and the law firm, said his client denies all of the allegations leveled against him. Skordas said the law firm is only named in the lawsuit in an attempt to obtain more money.
According to the lawsuit, Tarin invited the woman to his house in June 2020. There, she says, he began drinking “excessively” and bragging about his “dangerous” clients. He then started yelling “rude and vulgar” names at her. When she tried to leave, he allegedly physically and sexually assaulted her.
The attack lasted “for hours,” leaving her with physical and emotional injuries, the lawsuit states. Tarin also allegedly told the woman that if she reported what had happened, he would arrange for one of his legal clients to hurt her.
The woman claims Tarin told her that Immigrant Defenders “would accept payment from some [of] his clients for legal services provided by him through ‘favors’ performed by these clients,” reads the lawsuit. “These favors would include the commission of violent, criminal or intimidating acts towards third parties identified by Aaron and others at [Immigrant] Defenders.”
The lawsuit says Immigrant Defenders had a duty to make sure people were not placed in harm’s way because of the firm’s business dealings and accuses the firm of taking illegal forms of payment.
The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not name alleged victims of sexual assault.
A criminal case against Tarin over the same alleged attack is set for trial next month. Charges in that case were filed in June.