Defendants Claim Sexual Abuse by Arkansas Judge
Three alleged victims of an Arkansas judge filed a lawsuit in May 2016, claiming that Cross County District Court Judge Joseph Boeckmann had sexually abused them. Attorney Gary Green said on May 11, 2016 that a fourth man had joined the suit as a plaintiff against Boeckmann, who resigned earlier in the month after authorities discovered nearly 4,500 photographs of nude men on his computer, including many who had appeared as defendants in his courtroom.
Some of the photos depicted naked young men bending over after apparently having been paddled at Boeckmann’s home and in his yard, reportedly as an “alternative sentence” for minor violations.
The state’s Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission detailed the allegations of several of the defendants, including one who was under 18 at the time, who claimed the judge approached them after their court hearings to take the explicit photos as part of a “community service” sentence or in exchange for payments. One man described having a “sexual relationship” with the judge; the Commission’s investigation uncovered witnesses who testified they had been victimized by Boeckmann decades earlier.
The judge’s resignation letter stipulated that he would leave the bench immediately and would never again seek a job as a local, county or state employee. State officials have appointed a special prosecutor to review the case for possible criminal charges.
Additionally, Little Rock television station KATV reported that since Boeckmann’s resignation, the amount of municipal court fines has doubled to $123,462 in 2016 from $59,465 during the same time period last year. Prior to stepping down from the bench, Boeckmann had claimed the photos were to “corroborate participation in community service.”
Sources: www.msnbc.com, www.katv.com, CNN, www.arkansasbusiness.com