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Lawyer charged with stalking woman

Published Sep. 3, 2005

Thomas J. Sherwood, a Ruskin attorney, was arrested Tuesday morning on charges of stalking and harassing an ex-girlfriend.

In April, the ex-girlfriend, Dorinda White, told authorities Sherwood threw an object through the window of her residence, which resulted in him being charged with throwing a deadly missile, said Hillsborough County sheriff's Lt. Rod Reder. Reder did not know what the object was.

Since then, Sherwood has called her repeatedly at work, despite warnings by authorities that he was tampering with a witness in a state case, Reder said. Sherwood also is accused of filing a petition to represent White's juvenile son in a court proceeding without her knowledge, which authorities say is part of a campaign to harass her.

Sherwood, 52, the former husband of Hillsborough Circuit Judge Susan Sexton, was arrested at 9:05 a.m. at the county courthouse and charged with stalking and tampering with a witness. Sherwood, who lists a law office in Ruskin, joined the Florida bar in 1976.

Authorities said the charges could bring Sherwood up to five years in prison.

Kay Carr, Judge Sexton's attorney, said the judge has been divorced from Sherwood for at least a year and a half and had no knowledge of the current case.

_ Times researcher John Martin and editorial assistant Jay Cridlin contributed to this report. Christopher Goffard can be reached at 813-226-3337 or