Arkansas Judge Accused Of Trading Sentence Reductions For Sex Resigns

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.( Reuters) – An Arkansas judge accused by a nation panel of trading convict reductions for sex with young defendants has resigned, legal documents released on Monday showed.

Joseph Boeckmann of state district court in Wynne, Arkansas, was postponed over the scandal in November by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which has jurisdiction over the state’s lower courts.

He was accused of issuing “substitutionary sentences” to certain defendants, and offering convict reductions or removals to others, all allegedly to entice them into sexual relations.

The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, charged with an offence overseeing judges, said in the documents made public on Monday that it had recovered more than 1,000 images of nude or semi-nude young men from the judge’s home computer.

Many of “the mens” were photographed at the judge‘s home, the commission replied, adding it foresaw uncovering more than 3,000 similar pictures.

In his note of resignation, provided by the commission, Boeckmann swore to never again “seek employment as a local, district or nation employee or public servant in the state of Arkansas.” The resignation was effective as of Monday, it said.

In December, an attorney for Boeckmann said he denied the allegations against him. Boeckmann could not be reached for comment.

In a letter addressed to Boeckmann’s attorney, the commission’s head, David Sachar, said investigators had disclosed “numerous photos of naked young men from behind deflect over after an apparent paddling. The paddle shall be published in photos and has been identified by witness as belonging to the judge.”

Sachar requested Boeckmann’s attorney to send the judge not to destroy or dispose of the paddle.

Sachar replied authorities have identified some of the men and are attempting to identify others.

The commission said it also had documented cash pays from the judge to some of the young men.

Other documents unsealed on Monday included proclamations of the commission on human rights by individuals claiming that Boeckmann’s alleged misbehaviour began more than 30 years ago once they are adolescents and he was a nation deputy prosecutor.

Boeckmann’s resignation closes administrative action by the nation. State and federal police organizations are reviewing the allegations for possible criminal prosecution.

( Reporting by Steve Barnes; Editing by Tom Brown)

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