Thursday 8 December 2016

Judge allegedly traded light traffic offence sentences for sexual favours from defendants

Published 18/10/2016 | 13:43

Joseph Boeckmann
Joseph Boeckmann

A former Arkansas judge allegedly traded light traffic case sentences for sexual favours from defendants.

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Joseph Boeckmann has been indicted on federal bribery, wire fraud and witness tampering charges on suspicion of returning light punishments against defendants who provided him with sexual favors, a court document unsealed on Monday said.

He stepped down from his post in May.

The indictment accused, a former district court judge, of using his position "to obtain personal services, sexual contact and the opportunity to view and to photograph in compromising positions persons who appeared before him in traffic and misdemeanor criminal cases in exchange for dismissing the cases."

It was alleged that he gave "favorable treatment to young men defendants in court in return for sexual improprieties, particularly posing for suggestive photographs, sometimes nude and after paddling [beating]."

It was also alleged that he "wrote checks to lawyers for the young men, had images on his computer and was accused of a variety of other misdealings in using his court for illicit purposes".

Boeckmann presided over misdemeanor and traffic cases.

The indictment reads that the former judge would typically wait until court had concluded and then asked to meet with defendants alone.

It reads; "Then he'd provide his personal telephone number to work out terms of "community service."

"He'd have them pick up litter and photograph them bending over to pick up cans.

"He also variously offered consideration to people for being photographed naked, masturbating or after paddling.

"The judge altered dockets to show erroneously that sentences were discharged for community service. Boeckmann used the telephone or text messages to carry out the scheme."

Federal authorities are now investigating the claims.

Boeckmann is in custody at the Pulaski County Jail pending a bond hearing tomorrow.

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