Sex Crimes

Publicity-loving NYC lawyer who made career suing police now the focus of rape investigation

  • FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2006, file photo, former Playboy playmate Stephanie Adams, of New York, left, and her attorney Sanford Rubenstein announce the filing of a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department and others, in the Brooklyn borough of New York.  Rubenstein is focused on a new police investigation,  a potential rape suspect. In a turn that’s whiplash-inducing even for a city where the outlandish is ordinary, the suddenly scarce Rubenstein is under scrutiny from the police force he’s lambasted for years as he built a flamboyant persona and a fortune. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2006, file photo, former Playboy playmate Stephanie Adams, of New York, left, and her attorney Sanford Rubenstein announce the filing of a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department and others, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Rubenstein is focused on a new police investigation, a potential rape suspect. In a turn that’s whiplash-inducing even for a city where the outlandish is ordinary, the suddenly scarce Rubenstein is under scrutiny from the police force he’s lambasted for years as he built a flamboyant persona and a fortune. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 12, 2001, file photo, Abner Louima, second from left, stands with his attorneys Johnnie Cochran, far left, Peter Neufeld, to the right of Louima, Sanford Rubenstein, second from right, and Barry Scheck, far right, while speaking during a news conference in New York. Rubenstein is focused on a new police investigation,  a potential rape suspect. In a turn that’s whiplash-inducing even for a city where the outlandish is ordinary, the suddenly scarce Rubenstein is under scrutiny from the police force he’s lambasted for years as he built a flamboyant persona and a fortune. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser, File)

    FILE - In this July 12, 2001, file photo, Abner Louima, second from left, stands with his attorneys Johnnie Cochran, far left, Peter Neufeld, to the right of Louima, Sanford Rubenstein, second from right, and Barry Scheck, far right, while speaking during a news conference in New York. Rubenstein is focused on a new police investigation, a potential rape suspect. In a turn that’s whiplash-inducing even for a city where the outlandish is ordinary, the suddenly scarce Rubenstein is under scrutiny from the police force he’s lambasted for years as he built a flamboyant persona and a fortune. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2008, file photo, Nicole Paultre-Bell, second from left, fiance of police shooting victim Sean Bell is accompanied by her mother Laura Harper-Paultre, far left, lawyer Sanford Rubenstein, third from left, and Rev. Al Sharpton, right, as the group arrives for opening arguments in the trial of NYPD officers charged in Bell's shooting death in the Queens borough of New York.  Rubenstein is focused on a new police investigation, as a potential rape suspect. In a turn that’s whiplash-inducing even for a city where the outlandish is ordinary, the suddenly scarce Rubenstein is under scrutiny from the police force he’s lambasted for years as he built a flamboyant persona and a fortune. (AP Photo/ Gary He, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2008, file photo, Nicole Paultre-Bell, second from left, fiance of police shooting victim Sean Bell is accompanied by her mother Laura Harper-Paultre, far left, lawyer Sanford Rubenstein, third from left, and Rev. Al Sharpton, right, as the group arrives for opening arguments in the trial of NYPD officers charged in Bell's shooting death in the Queens borough of New York. Rubenstein is focused on a new police investigation, as a potential rape suspect. In a turn that’s whiplash-inducing even for a city where the outlandish is ordinary, the suddenly scarce Rubenstein is under scrutiny from the police force he’s lambasted for years as he built a flamboyant persona and a fortune. (AP Photo/ Gary He, File)  (The Associated Press)

He's been an inescapable and expensive adversary of the New York Police Department for years, the publicity-loving lawyer who got huge settlements in notorious brutality cases.

Now Sanford Rubenstein is getting unwelcome attention as a potential rape suspect.

Two law enforcement officials have told The Associated Press that a member of the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network has accused the 70-year-old attorney of sexually assaulting her at his apartment after Sharpton's 60th birthday party. The officials weren't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Rubenstein hasn't been charged with any crime. His lawyer says Rubenstein denies doing anything criminal and is confident he won't be charged.

The investigation is a dilemma for Sharpton, who's been close with Rubenstein for years.