Arkansas Judge Faces Charges of Cutting Sentences in Exchange for Sexual Favors

On Tuesday, the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission accused Cross County District Judge Joseph Boeckmann of giving preferential court treatment to "young Caucasian male litigants" that he had sexual relations with, and using their community service hours for work at his own home.

In addition, the commission accused Boeckmann of having child pornography on his computer. Boeckmann has 30 days to respond to the charges, which are ethical and not criminal.

The state agency only has the authority to ask that the judge stops presiding. If he refuses, the agency could seek an extraordinary order from the state Supreme Court to have him suspended while they await a full trial. According to the Arkansas Online, the allegations include:

- Boeckmann issued "substitutionary sentences" to certain defendants, and would later call them to suggest doing work at his home. There, he'd offer sentence reductions or dismissals for sexual relations.

- He had an ongoing sexual relationship with a man whose sister was a regular defendant in his courtroom. Boeckmann used his power to influence the criminal investigation against the woman, and never reported his relationship with her brother to the state commission.

- The judge handed young men smaller fines and less community service than women who committed the same or similar crimes.

- Boeckmann allowed litigants to perform their community service at his house.

Sometimes Boeckmann would have men pick up cans at his residence where he photographed their buttocks as they would bend to retrieve the garbage.

Defendants also said that Boeckmann gave them money to pose nude, or didn't force them to pay court fees after asking for sexual favors. The commission says Boeckmann's computer will be searched for child pornography.

Photo: People

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