D.A.: Peruto won't be charged in girlfriend's bathtub death

Posted: February 14, 2014

A GRAND JURY found "no evidence of criminal activity" in a woman's death last May in the bathtub of lawyer A. Charles Peruto Jr., the District Attorney's Office said yesterday.

The woman, Julia Papazian Law, 26, was found facedown in a tub in a Rittenhouse Square condo owned by Peruto, who was her boss and boyfriend.

District Attorney Seth Williams' office declined to elaborate yesterday on its one-sentence news release exonerating Peruto.

But Peruto, 58, was not reticent.

"I feel empty," he told the Daily News. "I really cared for Julia."

As he has done before, Peruto questioned why a grand-jury probe was needed after law-enforcement officials said Law probably had drowned and the body showed no signs of foul play.

"She drank to a degree where her blood-alcohol level was .42 and she drowned in a tub," Peruto said yesterday. "It was an accident.

"Why was this needed? What was suspicious? What raised eyebrows?"

A blood-alcohol level of .35 or more can be fatal, authorities say.

The Medical Examiner's Office has not released an official cause of death.

Peruto had been at a Shore house in Avalon, N.J., when the body was found, he said.

"There was never any evidence suggesting that a crime occurred," he said. "I cooperated from Day 1.

"This was just an awful thing to put a human being through," Peruto said of the eight-month investigation.

Peruto said he has been putting his cases on the back burner because he didn't want to subject clients to a jury that might be biased to his situation.

"I can't wait to get back to work," he said. "I can't wait.

"I am feeling so many emotions right now."

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