A Saco attorney who spent nine months in federal prison for money laundering but won back his right to practice law in 2016 has been suspended from practicing law for six months by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for engaging in professional misconduct with a female client this year.

Associate Justice Donald G. Alexander ruled on behalf of the court Thursday that Gary M. Prolman of Saco should begin serving his suspension Nov. 1.

In his ruling, Alexander said that the female client, who was on probation for drug trafficking, had been living at Prolman’s home in late March and early April and that “Prolman had engaged in sexual acts with her and had taken improper advantage of the client’s vulnerability in his professional relationship with the client.”

In May, the Board of Overseers of the Bar filed a petition with the court seeking Prolman’s immediate suspension. The Board of Overseers based its request on the woman’s affidavit and other supporting materials. Prolman has denied all of the allegations.

“Obviously, we are disappointed in the decision, although we respect the process and Justice Alexander’s attention to this matter,” Prolman’s Portland-based attorney, James Bowie, said in a statement Monday evening. “Mr. Prolman maintains that he acted in his client’s interest, including providing her a place to stay when she was in crisis and without other alternatives. Further, Mr. Prolman maintains that he at no time acted inappropriately with regard to his client.”

Bowie said his client will have no further comment.

Alexander’s Sept. 14 ruling, which could still be appealed to the seven member court, comes after a hearing was held in late August and Sept. 7.

Supreme court documents state that in March the woman had been living with an abusive boyfriend who “savagely assaulted her” at the apartment they shared. Among other injuries, the boyfriend broke bones in her face and tried to strangle her, leaving marks on her throat.

The woman, who was desperate for a safe place to live, contacted Prolman, who offered to let her stay in an apartment above his law office. Court documents say that Prolman, who also lived in the apartment but did not let the woman’s support team know, helped her find a job as a waitress. Eventually she moved out of the apartment and their relationship ended.

Prolman had acted as the woman’s attorney in 2016, assisting her with a probation issue and with testimony in an out-of-state case.

In his ruling, Alexander said he found that sex acts between Prolman and his client took place “on more than one occasion between March 29 and April 9.”

“By initiating a sexual relationship with his client and by providing her alcoholic beverages to consume, Prolman violated duties owed to his client and the legal system,” Alexander wrote in his opinion. “Prolman’s actions in his treatment of his client and in his failure to disclose to her support team that she would be living with him was negligent and reckless, though probably not so well thought out or planned in advance sufficiently to be considered intentional.”

Prolman rose to prominence as a defense attorney, and also as a sports agent for professional hockey players. But in 2012 he was indicted on a federal money laundering charge. Prolman eventually pleaded guilty and served nine months in a federal penitentiary in Pennsylvania in 2015. He concluded his sentence in stages, first at a halfway house and then in home confinement.