The N.C. State Bar has suspended a former prosecutor in Wilkes and Yadkin counties who was convicted of using a handheld mirror under a desk to look at a female student at Wake Forest University.
But that suspension has been stayed for two years as long as the former prosecutor complies with certain conditions.
Brooke McKinley Webster, 45, of Surrey Path Court in Winston-Salem, was convicted of misdemeanor secret peeping and second-degree trespass in Forsyth District Court on Jan. 16 and was placed on unsupervised probation for a year.
Webster had admitted guilt to the misdemeanor secret peeping charge on Nov. 22, 2017, but he was not convicted at the time because he entered a deferred-prosecution program, which is for defendants who have no prior convictions for misdemeanor crimes and some felonies. As part of the program, Webster agreed to comply with a number of conditions, including staying off Wake Forest’s campus.
He didn’t stay off the university’s campus, and as a result, he violated the agreement. If he had complied, Forsyth County prosecutors would have voluntarily dismissed the charge in November 2018. Instead, prosecutors used his admission of guilt to obtain the conviction for misdemeanor secret peeping and then Webster pleaded guilty to second-degree trespassing.
The initial incident of secret peeping happened on April 20, 2017, at Z. Smith Reynolds Library on WFU’s campus. Wake Forest police escorted Webster off campus and issued him a trespass warning, meaning he would be arrested if he came back on campus.
WFU police increased campus patrols and monitoring of suspicious individuals after this incident happened.
On Sept. 20, 2018, Webster came back to campus. Webster told campus police that he was using the school as a cut-through, but Assistant District Attorney Lizmar Bosques said that the police investigation indicated that Webster was on campus for far longer than it would take to simply drive through the campus.
The N.C. State Bar issued a consent order of discipline against Webster on Sept. 5. Webster did not dispute anything in the consent order and admitted to the underlying findings of fact.
The order said that by “engaging in secret peeping and trespassing, Webster committed criminal offenses reflecting adversely on his trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer.”
The State Bar also noted Webster’s work as a prosecutor.
“Due to Defendant’s status as a criminal prosecutor at the time of his original criminal offense, there was considerable media coverage of his arrests, which caused a particularly significant risk of harm to public perception of attorneys and the judicial system,” the order said.
The State Bar determined that suspension was appropriate but also stayed the decision for two years, which means that Webster can still practice law. To keep his suspension stayed, Webster has to abide by a number of conditions, including getting a psychological evaluation and complying with whatever treatment is recommended.
He also cannot get into any more trouble with the law or violate any State Bar rules of professional conduct during the two years.
Webster worked as an assistant district attorney in Wilkes and Yadkin counties and handled Superior Court cases. He resigned April 24, 2017, according to a statement from Tom Horner, the district attorney for Wilkes, Alleghany, Ashe and Yadkin counties. He had worked in the office since 2006.