BOSTON (CBS) – A Boston attorney has been charged with trying to bribe the alleged victim of a hate crime to avoid investigators for months.
Timothy Flaherty, 50, of Cambridge, was indicted Wednesday on tampering with a witness to a possible federal civil rights offense, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Prosecutors say Flaherty was hired to represent a man facing state civil rights charges late last year in Cambridge District Court. The man allegedly attacked a person, while yelling “you little Muslim…you f!*king terrorist.”
Once Flaherty’s client was arraigned in state court, federal prosecutors say Flaherty contacted the victim in December and offered him $2,500 in cash, if the victim told investigators he was too busy and no longer wanted to pursue the case.
Several months later, on May 6, the victim told Flaherty that he had received a letter from the District Attorney’s Office.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Flaherty instructed the victim to tell prosecutors, “I have no interest in this. I’d have to come to court, I really don’t want anything to do with it. Um, you know the guy had a bad day and I’m just not going to testify ….”
Flaherty also allegedly told the victim, “…they won’t press you, they won’t subpoena you, if they try to, just duck it….”
The victim also claimed he had been contacted by someone from the civil rights division of the U. S. Attorney’s Office, but Flaherty told him to, “blow her off.”
Two weeks later, on May 21, the victim said the FBI left a message for him. Flaherty allegedly told the man “don’t call him back.”
If convicted, Flaherty now faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
According to the Boston Globe, Flaherty is a former Norfolk County assistant district attorney who ran for state Senate in 2010.