Disgraced former Louisiana prosecutor faces sentencing

A former Louisiana prosecutor who was accused of soliciting sex from at least 20 women in exchange for favorable treatment faces sentencing Wednesday in federal court on an obstruction charge.

Seventy-three-year-old Harry Morel was district attorney for 33 years in St. Charles Parish, about 20 miles west of New Orleans. Now he faces a maximum of three years in prison after pleading guilty to the single charge.

The deal closed the case, reflecting the difficulty of balancing the scales of justice between a powerful defendant and vulnerable victims.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite said that statutes of limitations on some alleged crimes, and the death of a key witness played into the eventual plea bargain.

Defense attorney Ralph Capitelli has accused prosecutors of a smear campaign to influence sentencing.